The NBA will see a first on Monday night when the Charlotte Hornets face the Orlando Magic, as it will have a referee crew that features two women for the first time in league history.
Natalie Sago and Jenna Schroeder will be working the game along with veteran official Sean Wright. The league has five women working as full time referees on staff for the 2020-21 season, along with two others as non-staff officials, and Monday will mark the first time two have been on the same crew together, as the NBA has worked recently to add more women to the officiating ranks.
Sago is in her third season as an NBA official, having refereed 63 games prior to this season and came to the NBA in 2018-19 after working four seasons as a G League official and three seasons with the WNBA. Schroeder is in her second season as an NBA official, having refereed 27 games a year ago and likewise worked three seasons of G League ball and two seasons in the WNBA before joining the NBA officials last season. Both also have extensive background officiating college ball as well.
This game, much like Becky Hammon taking over as head coach of the Spurs after Gregg Popovich’s ejection for a game earlier this season, is a welcome first to see but hopefully an occurrence that won’t be so much notable as normal in coming years.