Have you ever wondered who is actually behind those black and white stripes you see on the college basketball courts? Meet Nick Marshall, a college Big 12, SEC, Missouri Valley, C-USA and Summit basketball referee and one of our amazing MHED substitute teachers.
Nick played baseball and basketball in high school in Coffeyville, Kansas, and went on to play two years at Brown Mackie College, NJCAA Division 2, where he was second in the nation in free throw shooting with a 93 percent average. During the summers he would return to his hometown to coach youth teams. Here is where he began to develop a passion to help today’s youth get back to learning the fundamentals of the sport he loved. After he graduated from Brown Mackie College, Nick attended the University of Kansas and started refereeing for intramural games to earn a little extra money. This was just the beginning.
Refereeing has given Nick an opportunity to travel all over the U.S., visiting some amazing cities and universities. One of his favorite things about being part of the referee community is the friendships that are built with the other referees all along the way. The travel is not as great as it might seem. “Getting to one game from another can be a challenge when the weather is bad. Flights get cancelled or roads are bad. You have to be creative. I have become a great travel agent for myself.”
One of Nick’s favorite experiences as a referee was his first Division I game. “I was so nervous, but my crew made me feel comfortable.” When asked what advice he would give to someone who is interested in becoming a referee, Nick responds, “Definitely have thick skin because fans and coaches get after you. Get into the craft early. There are plenty of opportunities to become a referee because basketball is pretty much played year-round these days.” Nick would love to continue being a good referee and one day work a Final Four game.
When Nick is not refereeing (or substitute teaching) he runs a youth basketball program called Kan Do Hoops, based out of Lawrence, Kansas. Kan Do Hoops is a youth basketball program he started that is committed to teaching fundamental basketball skills to boys and girls of all ages. The goal is to not only teach basketball skills using drills in a positive environment but also promote each athlete’s attitude, character, team concept and just overall philosophy of the game. They utilize skills and drills clinics, player development clinics, practice, league play/tournaments, private lessons and camps to develop players.
Nick began subbing with MHED in August of 2014. “I was always working with youth outside of refereeing. Before and after basketball season, I had a lot of time on my hands, so I wanted to continue to work with kids and education.”
Nick’s favorite thing about subbing is being able to meet all different kids in the community and work with them.
“If I have a game on TV, they think it is pretty cool that they have a sub that was on TV. Being a substitute has really been fun. I see a lot of kids/parents outside of school who come up to me saying how much they enjoyed me being a sub. Makes you feel pretty good.”
Thank you, Nick, for all you do for MHED and we look forward to seeing you in a Final Four game!