Bio

Don Vaden PhotoFormer Vice President of Basketball Operations for the National Basketball Association and Director of Officials for both the NBA and WNBA, Vaden, who refereed on the professional, collegiate and high school levels, brings more than 30 years of experience both on and off the floor while helping produce the top referees in the world.

Currently Don works with a number of NBA teams as well as the Big 12 men’s basketball officials.  His consulting role includes producing development and training for NCAA officials, focusing on improving the working relations between players, coaches and referees, and educating the team’s players on improving their performance through increased knowledge of the rules and analytics.

Don’s career as an NBA referee began in 1988 during which time he worked 854 regular season games, 59 Playoff games, and the 2002 NBA All Star game and 2002 NBA Finals. Following his elite on-court NBA career, Vaden held a variety of leadership positions in Referee Operations ending with representing Referee Operations on the League’s L2M Report and overseeing operations of the Replay Center. Prior to the NBA, Vaden officiated in the NCAA as a member of the ACC, Colonial, Big South and Metro Conferences. He worked the NCAA, NIT and NAIA National Tournaments. Vaden is a 1976 graduate of Lynchburg College (VA) with a B.A. in Physical Education where he was a 4-year starter and 2-time captain on the baseball team that featured 9 future professional baseball players. While in college, Vaden began his officiating career by working youth and high school games. Vaden played professional baseball, coached on the high school and college level in baseball, scouted for a professional baseball organization, served as team manager and spotter of a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Team, and has delivered presentations at NASO as well as many civic organizations as well as officiating groups at all levels.

After leaving the NBA in December 2017, Vaden started Don Vaden InterActive Consulting. Through InterActive Services, he provides quality individualized training and development programs for basketball officials and meets the specific needs of the team by delivering clear analysis of rules, interpretations and analytics and how they affect the performance of the team.

For more about my credentials and experience, see my profile on LinkedIn.

“Don has been very helpful educating our players and coaches from referee’s perspective. Don is extremely knowledgeable and is able to effectively explain and teach NBA rules and their interpretations.” Terry Stotts

Head Coach, Portland Trailblazers