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Indy native makes history as first woman to ref boys regionals

Hatcher becomes first woman to officiate boys regionals

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis native Laschelle Hatcher made history in Frankfort when she became the first woman ever to officiate a boys basketball regional in the state of Indiana.

“They were awesome up there (in Frankfort),” Hatcher said. “There were people that actually came up there to see me, and I thought that was cool. It was just really humbling. That’s just really what it was. You don’t really set out to do this. You just continue to do what you’re doing, and I was just happy to be seen.”

Hatcher’s journey to this moment had a lot of supporters, but some naysayers as well. When she started officiating with the IHSAA, some didn’t believe she could get to where she is now.

“There was another assigner at the time that said, ‘Women can’t do boys basketball. It’s too fast, the endurance, and so forth.’ Hatcher said. “I took that as a challenge,”.

Hatcher never played basketball, but over 20 years ago, her Indianapolis church league needed refs. She’s been putting her mark on Indiana basketball ever since.

“When the coaches are asking a question and saying, ‘Hey! That wasn’t a foul!’ and this or that, I’m like, ‘Coach, you’re right. From my position this is what I saw,’” Hatcher said. “And I’ll tell him, ‘Hey, I just got my eyelashes done. My glue didn’t dry yet so I might’ve missed that,’”

Hatcher’s earned the respect of not just those coaches, but the entire IHSAA as well.

“Laschelle’s worked hard to become a really good official, and she’s there because she deserves to be there – not just because she’s a female,” said IHSAA commissioner Paul Neidig. “We’re really proud of her and the work that she’s done.”

“I think it’s great to go ahead and try to blaze the trail, but I really would like to see what’s coming behind me, because it makes no difference to me if it’s just me,” Hatcher said. “I just want to bring other women that come behind me and make their struggles a lot less.”

Now that Hatcher’s refereed the regionals, she’s eligible to make even more history in the future. If she’s selected to officiate a state championship at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, she’ll be the first woman to ever do that, too.