Two women, Syrian native among five new NBA referees

Syrian native Mousa Dagher and two women, Ashley Moyer-Gleich and Natalie Sago, were among five people promoted to full-time NBA referees.

Referee Ashley Moyer-Gleich during an NBA pre-season basketball game.   -  AP

Syrian native Mousa Dagher and two women, Ashley Moyer-Gleich and Natalie Sago, were among five people promoted on Thursday to full-time NBA referees, the league announced.

Others named to the staff by Monty McCutchen, NBA vice president and head of referee development, were Matt Myers and Phenizee Ransom, joining Brandon Adair, who was added at the start of the season.

Dagher, who moved to the United States in 2006 at the age of 15, officiated his first regular-season NBA game on October 24 when the Los Angeles Lakers visited Phoenix and handled two more games since then. He spent two years in the NBA's top development league ans six seasons refereeing college contests.

Violet Palmer became the NBA's first woman referee in 1997 and she like the NBA's second woman referee, Dee Kantner, is retired.

Lauren Holtkamp became the third full-time NBA female referee in the 2014-15 season and was the only woman until Sago and Moyer-Gleich became the fourth and fifth female referees in NBA history.

Sago has spent three prior seasons in the NBA development leagues and handled her first NBA contest last October 22. Moyer-Gleich has two seasons of NBA development league experience and also handled her first NBA contest on October 22.

Myers has 11 years in the developmental circuit plus two Women's NBA campaigns and 12 years handling college games. He has officiated 15 NBA regular-season games.

Ransom has six years in the development league ranks and has refereed 13 NBA games.