Ambassador / FWBWC22 / I AM A GIRL / Media Release
Written by Jaylee Ismay
9 September, 2021

Basketball NSW is glad to announce that FIBA and WNBA Referee, Amy Bonner, has joined the I AM A GIRL (IAAG) family as the third Ambassador for the IAAG Leadership Scholarship Program.

The I AM A GIRL Leadership Scholarship Program is an initiative under the NSW Legacy Program for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022, proudly funded by the NSW Government.

Hailing from Kansas City in the United States, Bonner is our first international Ambassador and Official to join the IAAG Leadership Scholarship Program.

Well-renowned for her exceptional work ethic and interminable desire to continue to develop her skillset, Bonner’s journey into the world of officiating started over 20 years ago. She first picked up the whistle while studying at the University of Missouri as a way to earn an extra income before graduating as a Physical Therapist. 

From there she was scouted to join the NBA training program for upcoming referees landing her further opportunities to make her mark as an official.

By 2001, she was refereeing NCAA Division 1 women’s games and six years later, she was offered the opportunity to officiate at the FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup in Bratislava.

Adding to her list of accomplishments, she has also officiated in the WNBA, G- League, FIBA and made history as the first woman to referee an Atlanta 10 men’s basketball game.

Bonner has also just returned from Tokyo, after making her debut at the Olympic Games and was one of five female referees selected to officiate at the event.

Speaking on the significance of what the IAAG Leadership Scholarship Program stands for, Bonner expressed her enthusiasm to start inspiring likemind females within the program.

“It’s hard to visualize yourself doing something you haven’t seen others like you doing.  I hope by pursuing my own goals and embracing leadership roles that come with that I am able to inspire other young women to pursue their own dreams, whether that is in basketball or in any other career, ” said Bonner. 

“Someone helped pull me up, I want to help pull others up. That is how we all succeed.”

“I’m excited to have an opportunity as a ‘I AM A GIRL’ Ambassador to show women they can be capable, competent and successful!”

Bonner will join both previously announced IAAG Leadership Scholarship Program Ambassadors Liz Mills & Carrie Graf in supporting the ideals of the initiative in a number of capacities from sharing her experience as an official on the world stage and provide support for girls wanting to step into similar roles within the game.

“We are thrilled to have someone as highly regarded, and widely recognised as Amy Bonner join us in our mission to continue to encourage females to participate in basketball at all levels of the game,” added Basketball NSW, CEO, Maria Nordstrom. 

“She will be such an inspiration for all our officials within the program and every scholarship recipient in general as she works hand in hand with our other Ambassadors in delivering, tailor-made online education content. It is all about connecting directly with our community so that we can provide great entertainment and conversations through social media and online events.”

Basketball NSW will continue to announce further IAAG Leadership Scholarship Program Ambassadors over the course of the next 12 months, from all areas within the game.

The IAAG Leadership Scholarship Program has been offered free to 240 selected female players, coaches, referees, statisticians, scoretable officials, team managers, and administrators and includes a 12-month holistic program designed to encourage and inspire women and girls right across NSW.

The IAAG Leadership Scholarship Program is an initiative under the NSW Legacy Program for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022, proudly funded by the NSW Government and aligned to its Her Sport Her Way Strategy.

Pillars of the NSW Legacy Program include:

→ Female Leadership Scholarship Program.

→ Education and participation programs delivered in partnership with Indigenous Basketball Australia and Savannah Pride.

→ Delivery of a basketball-specific ‘Daughters and Dads’ program.

→ Delivery of culturally specific ‘Daughters and Dads’ program delivered in partnership with Savannah Pride.

→ School holidays programs delivered state-wide.

→ 3×3 Basketball Tournaments delivered state-wide.

A number of activations will be rolled out each year leading up to the FIBA Women’s World Basketball Cup 2022.

Click HERE to be redirected to the I AM A GIRL webpage.

To learn more about Amy Bonner and her rise to Olympic Referee CLICK HERE.