Good call! IHSA picks two from WIU

Ever wondered if it rankles the refs when those heckling fans cry out from the stands?

WIU employees serve as referees

Kiah (left) and Moran confer on the courts

Or have you ever asked yourself why anyone would willingly put themselves in the position of having to make the tough calls?

Actually, for a WIU public safety officer (Lt. Sam Moran) and the director of the University Bookstore and Go West bus system (Jude Kiah)–who’ve been working as state basketball officials for more than 20 years in addition to their full-time jobs–it’s a passion and a long-honored partnership.

Kiah and Moran were chosen to officiate at the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Class 3A/4A tournament in Peoria (IL) this past weekend. They were assigned to the March 19 4A semifinal (Chicago Whitney Young v. Waukegan) and the March 20 (Champaign Centennial v. Chicago Marshall) 3A third-place game.

“The Friday game was spectacular,” Kiah said. “There was a huge crowd, with 10 Division 1 athletes on both teams combined, and a buzzer beater,” he said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better game. And we were proud to represent this side of the state.”

Kiah added that he and Moran received notes and calls of congratulations from fellow officials, as well as friends and family, from across the U.S.

“For officials, being congratulated and honored is certainly a switch from how business is normally conducted,” Kiah quipped.

And how exactly do they handle those moments when the crowd might not be cheering?

Find out that and more by clicking on the full story here.