Jess Kersey

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Kersey in 2007.

Jesse "Jess" Kersey (January 12, 1941 – April 22, 2017) was an American basketball referee who worked for the American Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association.[1]

Born in Newport News, Virginia, Kersey attended Thomas Nelson Community College.[2]

Joining the NBA in 1973, Kersey was a highly regarded referee and officiated at the 1975 ABA All-Star Game, the NBA All-Star Games in 1983, 1987 and 2002, and the NBA Finals in 1983, 1984 and 1991.

During his 30-year career, he officiated 1,911 regular season games, 189 playoff games and 18 NBA Finals games.[2]

In July 1997, Kersey resigned from the NBA after 24 seasons as a referee after he pleaded guilty to tax evasion.[3] Kersey returned to the NBA for the 1998–99 season and continued working games until the 2006–07 season.[4] On April 10, 2007, Kersey was injured after Corey Maggette collided with him, and Kersey underwent hip replacement surgery the following year. Kersey was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.[5]

Kersey died of cancer on April 22, 2017, in Williamsburg, Virginia, at the age of 76.[6]


  1. ^ Pluto, Terry, 'Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990, ISBN 978-1-4165-4061-8, p.133
  2. ^ a b "Jess Kersey". National Basketball Referees Association. 
  3. ^ "Kersey Resigns as Official". The New York Times. July 31, 1997. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Jess Kersey". Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  5. ^ Fairbank, Dave (April 26, 2012). "Newport News' Kersey humbled by state Hall of Fame inclusion". Hampton Roads Daily Press. Retrieved March 4, 2013. Jess Kersey's officiating career essentially came to an end on the night of April 10, 2007, in Oklahoma City. Corey Maggette, then with the L.A. Clippers, ran over him in a transition sequence when Kersey was unable to get out of the way. 
  6. ^