Thursday, September 28, 2023

The Mexican who became a referee out of necessity

When the draft laws stopped working, Omar Bermúdez saw refereeing as a way out of his problems: today he is far from being able to referee the final of the 2023 Basketball World Cup.

The Tijuana-born Mexican referee will be the national representative in the final of the Basketball World Cup, which will be played this Sunday morning, September 10, between Germany and Serbia.

During his college years, Omar was looking forward to showing off on the courts of Tijuana and attracting the attention of a spectator in the area to further his dream of becoming a basketball player, not knowing that his path would be connected to it Sport, but a different perspective.

And when money became an issue for Omar and his academic life, basketball turned to him, but in a very special way.

“My goal as a young person was always to play sports as professionally as possible. I did it in the local student leagues, then Tijuana opened a Cup franchise, and over time my profile changed.

“The reality is that refereeing for me is an accident, something I didn’t intentionally look for. Over there, on a weekend in a local league that is played in Tijuana, they tell me, ‘You’ve been here, so you can referee and work,'” Omar said on the “Café y Basketball” podcast.

What began as a joking and even informal invitation ended with Omar helping financially support the school thanks to the small payments they gave him in his local league.

“I met a good friend on the pitch, Alejandra Ángel, who was the referee. The reality is that all of us who started, myself included, did so because it was financial support for our college years.

“I go up to Alejandra and jokingly say to her: ‘I want to be a referee’, and another teammate replies to me: ‘Come on’, and I arrived with them the following week, without a whistle, without feathers, nothing, I wasn’t prepared. And that’s how I learned about refereeing. There were Saturday days with 5, 8 or 10 games,” Omar explained.

Even in his first games as a referee, Omar had no trouble instilling discipline or enforcing the rules of the game, but it was another challenge that left him green-gray.

“I was bad at scoring, I was never good. I’m too hyperactive to sit, imagine 8 games. That’s how I got into refereeing, then I continued with children’s tournaments and open leagues, when it comes to refereeing I let myself go, I go wherever they call me.

“That’s how I got into refereeing until I met people who were already in the professional game but lured me into the professional leagues by playing,” Omar said.

It was another friend, who already knew other heights of Mexican basketball, who finally convinced Omar to take part in trainings and courses, where he finally managed to become a professional referee in one of them.

“My process was very peculiar, I had the ambition to continue playing but they invited me to a camp and there they really drenched me with referee information, a friend convinced me to go to training (at 22 years old) And that’s it. “Then, from one day to the next, I became a professional arbitrator in this clinic, where the licenses for professional referees and applicants were selected and renewed,” he said.

This need of the student who liked basketball made Omar a FIBA ​​referee with experience in the National Professional Basketball League (in Mexico), G League, NBA Summer League, Basketball World Cup China 2019, etc. 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Omar will not play a ten-game Saturday day in his beloved Tijuana while struggling to score… This Sunday, the Mexican will referee the most important game of his “eventful” career, the final of the 2023 Basketball World Cup.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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