Violet Palmer: NBA trailblazer

Published 7:41 AM ET, Fri December 20, 2013
VP Little League 1975 Violet Palmer  Newday VP Little League 1975 Violet Palmer  Newday
1 of 6
The only female referee in today's NBA, Violet Palmer was also the only girl on her Little League team in 1975. "I (wanted) to go out and play with my brother and play baseball in the street and just do it all," she recalls. Family Photo
The Compton, California, native also was on her junior high school basketball team before going on to play in high school and college. Family Photo
Palmer earned a full scholarship playing basketball for California Polytechnic State University, where she helped her team win two NCAA championships. Family Photo
Palmer ejects Miami Heat player Alonzo Mourning, center, from a game against the Toronto Raptors as his coach, Pat Riley, tries to calm him down in April 1998. CARLO ALLEGRI/AFP/Getty Images
Grant Hill of the Orlando Magic argues with Palmer during the NBA playoffs in Orlando in April 2007. Doug Benc/Getty Images
Palmer in action with Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat in Oklahoma City in January 2011. She says she's optimistic about more women joining her ranks. "The bar is really high, but I can honestly say we have two women right now that are in our training program, and they are awesome."
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images