John P. Nucatola

When the conversation turns to basketball officials, the name of John Nucatola will inevitably come up. Long considered one of the most respected and most capable officials, Hall of Famer Clair Bee deemed Nucatola basketball’s “greatest official.” Nucatola was a man of high moral fiber and ethics. He believed the referee’s most important duty was to make the right call and not just to assert authority. During his two-decade career, Nucatola officiated over 2,000 games. A highly respected official, he often urged other referees to be willing to reconsider a call, and was a strong advocate of the three-man officiating crew. Nucatola began his career at the college level where he founded the College Basketball Officials Association. He moved onto the professional game in the American Basketball League, the Basketball Association of American, and the National Basketball League. In a life dedicated to the development of basketball and officiating, Nucatola conducted more than 1,200 clinics worldwide.