Originally Published: Dec 4, 2009 11:8 AM CDT
Special Contributor to Oklahoma Sports
TULSA, Oklahoma -- The eight grade girls’ basketball team at Edison Middle School in Tulsa hasn't lost a game since they were in the sixth grade. For that, the players and their coach deserve a lot of credit and so does the youngest referee in Green Country.
Jeannetta Lang's basketball team has a winning record which may have something to do with the help they get from the officiating crew.
Six-year-old Bryan Carr, the foster nephew of Coach Lang, started attending the Eagles' games last December.
"He started mimicking the referees and at first, it kind of started out as a joke and we were like, ‘look at him, watch him' and then after awhile it got really serious about it and he was doing everything the referee did," Land said.
He only blows the whistle after the real officials do it first.
Bryan is careful not to blow his whistle or signal a foul, until the real referees do.
"He really likes referees and a lot of them just accept it,” Lang said. “He usually lean towards one that he'll stick with and do everything he does and they've received him very well and I've actually been happy and the fans, I think they're actually more excited to see him, than our team.”
Bryan is a young man of few words, but he sure can blow that whistle.
Coach Lang's sister is Bryan's foster mother. She found a pint-sized uniform online for Bryan. He loves the look, but it is not the uniform he intends to wear when he grows up. He wants to be a policeman.
"To keep people safe on the road," said Bryan Carr.
Being a policeman may be down the road, but right now, Bryan is content to patrol the hardwood.
"He's one of the best referees out there. I think he does an excellent job. If he misses a call it's because he's tired and he's coming to sit in my lap because he needs a break," Lang said.
The Eagles are 14-0 heading into the playoffs, which begin on Monday, so Bryan has all weekend to rest up.
Coach Lang is also busy. She works full time at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services during the day and coaches the sixth, seventh and eighth grade teams at Edison Prep during the evenings.