FIBA referee Wilmore proudly represents The Bahamas
As an avid after-school sports fan from his St. Augustine’s College (SAC) days, Christian Wilmore recalls how he eagerly watched and cheered from the sidelines. In the eighth grade, because of his keen interest in sports, he was asked to consider becoming a table scorer and since he was already at the games, anyway, he decided to give it a shot. This decision opened doors he never even imagined possible.
“Becoming a scorer gave me something to do and I discovered that I really enjoyed it, so I then began scoring for softball and basketball, basically all the sports at SAC,” recalled Wilmore. “Basketball became my first love though and I went on to score at local tournaments. The late Mrs. Katrinka Marshall, at the time, said to me that young basketball referees were needed and I should consider training to become one. I had never even considered it but thanks to her and coach Randy Cunningham, I got all the information needed and attended my first clinic and that was my start.”
Shortly after the clinic, at the age of 14, Wilmore refereed his first set of games in the public school’s national basketball tournament and he has not stopped since. A FIBA (International Basketball Federation) referee since 2012, he is the first Bahamian to serve as a referee at a world championships game and has travelled to 20-plus countries.
As the New Providence Association of Certified Basketball Officials (NPACBO) president, he encourages young Bahamians to consider becoming a referee.
“I would highly recommend those who love the game of basketball but objectively do not have the ability to play at the collegiate level but still want to be connected to the game, to try the officiating route. With
international refereeing, you get to see the world and be compensated for doing so,” he explained.
Most recently, Wilmore was nominated for a position as FIBA Centrobasket U15 (Under-15) Championships referee for the 2022 tournament in Gurabo, Puerto Rico, from June 18-30. The Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) celebrates his achievement and steady progression as a representative for The Bahamas globally as a FIBA referee.
“As a federation, we want to recognize the high standard of officiating we have represented here in The Bahamas through Christian’s leadership. He has emerged as one of the top referees in this region and proudly represented our country at numerous tournaments. One of our key initiatives as the BBF is focused on
training and development of our administration, coaches and officials. We encourage young Bahamians to seize every opportunity to be trained, gain new skills, and have world exposure. We celebrate Christian’s continued international success,” expressed BBF Secretary General Jurelle Nairn-Mullings.
As a graduate student pursuing a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, in Kingston, Jamaica, Wilmore has his sights set high in both the classroom and on the court. His goal is to one day officiate at the Olympics or a senior men’s or women’s world championships game. When that happens, he said he would have accomplished a big dream and would be satisfied.