When Laschelle Hatcher first became a licensed official several years ago, she was told by a game assigner not to bother pursuing high school boys basketball games.
“I said I wanted to do boys basketball and I was told, ‘We don’t really have women that do boys basketball games,’” Hatcher said. “‘I was told the game moved too fast and there is too much going on.’”
Hatcher, 45, is not bitter about that one-sided conversation. She used it as a challenge. On Tuesday night, she will make history as the African-American woman to officiate a boys tournament game when Northeastern plays Winchester in Class 2A Sectional 41 at Hagerstown.
Pam Shively, worked the 2013 and 2014 tournaments, was the first woman to officiate the boys IHSAA tournament.
Hatcher has mixed emotions about her groundbreaking achievement. On one hand, she is proud and honored to receive so much support this week from peers in the officiating world. On the other hand, as an official, she does not want to be the story.
“I don’t know if I’m taking it too lightly because it is something special to be a part of,” Hatcher said. “But I also don’t want too much focus on me because that’s not why I’m out there.”
Hatcher, a native of Fort Wayne who lives in Indianapolis, got started in officiating because her church had a need.