Maia Chaka made history in early March becoming only the second woman and the very first Black woman to be hired as an NFL referee since the league was founded in 1920. Chaka was added to the NFL roster of game officials for the 2021 season.
“I am honored to be selected as an NFL official,” Chaka said in a statement. “But this moment is bigger than a personal accomplishment. It is an accomplishment for all women, my community, and my culture.”
“It didn’t really hit me until just now,” Chaka said on The Today Show. “When I saw the introduction, I’m like, ‘This is really real,’ because this is just something that we’re just always taught to work hard for. Sometimes we just don’t take time to stop and smell our own roses.”
Chaka, a 2006 HBCU graduate of Norfolk State University earned her Bachelor’s degree in education. Currently she is a health and physical education teacher at Renaissance Academy where she teaches at-risk youth. She once received a Teacher of the Year award a few years back.
In 2014, Chaka made history as one of the first women officials to work a FBS bowl game. She has worked NFL preseason games as part of the developmental program, but now she will be part of the crew for regular-season action. She began her career in 2006 officiating high school games and then moved up in the college ranks to Conference USA and then the Pac-12 Conference, according to The Virginian-Pilot. Chaka most recently has been working Pac-12 games and also worked the sidelines for the short-lived XFL last year.
Chaka hopes to encourage young people, especially her students to reach for their dreams.
“I just want them to know if you have a passion for something and if you have a drive for something, don’t let it hold you back just because you think that something may give you some type of limitation,” she said. “Just continue to work hard and always, always, always just follow your dreams.”
What a proud and distinguished honor to earn during Women’s History Month! Congratulations Maia Chaka!
Ime Udoka Lands Head Coach Position
According to ESPN, the Associated Press, and other sources, retired NBA player and former assistant coach of the San Antonio Spurs, Ime Udoka is set to become the Boston Celtics new head coach and the first Nigerian-American head coach in the the NBA. During his time in the NBA Udoka played seven seasons with five different teams before retiring in 2012. Shortly after retirement he joined Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs where he served as an assistant coach for seven seasons, including the 2013-14 season when they won the NBA title. In 2019, Udoka was the assist coach for the Philadelphia 76ers and last season with the Brooklyn Nets. This upcoming season will be Udoka’s first shot as head coach in the NBA.
And Another One….
Simone Biles, aka “the GOAT,” set another record Saturday, May 22, 2021 becoming the first women ever to land the extremely difficult Yurchenko double pike vault move during competition at the GK US Classic in Indianapolis. The move is a roundoff onto a springboard, followed by a back handspring onto the vaulting table, and ending with a piked double backflip into the air to landing. Historically this move has only been completed by just a few male gymnasts.
Biles, 24, successfully defended her GK US Classic all-around title. This was her first competition since October 2019.
Still elated from winning the 2021 Women’s NCAA Basketball Championship in front of her hometown crowd, San Antonio native, Wagner High School alumna, and Stanford University standout Kiana Williams is moving on up. Just recently Williams received a key to the city and now she is headed to the defending champion WNBA Seattle Storm. Williams was a drafted 18th overall in the second round of the 2021 WNBA Draft. Congratulations Kiana Williams!
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