Barrier-breaker official, calls last SWAC Tournament

Barrier-breaker official, calls last SWAC Tournament

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HOUSTON, Texas – Melanie Davis will call the final game of her career Thursday night during the 2016 Toyota SWAC Basketball Tournament quarter finals. She retires after 30 years.

Davis accomplished many things throughout her years of officiating including becoming the first female official to work an NCAA men’s tournament game.  

Each conference ranks its referees based on their work during the regular season and SWAC nominated her to officiate in the 2002 NCAA tournament. Davis was chosen by NCAA supervisor Hank Nichols to call the Illinois vs. San Diego State game in Chicago. In total, she has worked 28 SWAC tournaments and countless tournament championship finals.

"Melanie has done a great deal for women's basketball". Texas Southern head women's basketball coach Johnette Hayes-Perry said. "Today is bitter sweet for me as I've known her personally and professionally for over 15 years. She actually officiated my games as a player and will be missed". Hayes-Perry stated.

Prior to that historical day in 2002, Davis officiated for not only the SWAC, but for Southeastern, Sun Belt and Southland conferences. When she was not on the court, you could find her teaching at J.B. Martin Middle School.

Davis played collegiate basketball at Dillard and got her start in officiating in volleyball.