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Miles City’s Brett Nansel becomes NBA ref

Posted at 4:17 PM, Sep 21, 2016
and last updated 2018-07-31 18:20:14-04

BILLINGS – Brett Nansel has worked for this all his life.

After years of officiating at the high school, collegiate and NBA D-League levels, the Miles City native is now on board as a full-time NBA referee.

Nansel has already done limited work in the NBA – with some of the league’s biggest stars naturally complaining to him. James Harden and Kobe Bryant come to mind.

There is no overnight jump to becoming an NBA official. Everybody is required to work the D-League, which Nansel has done for a few years.
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Prior to that he officiated games in the Pac-12 and Big Sky Conferences. He’s also called a variety of games in the NCAA Tournament.

Nansel earned his start doing high school games.

The NBA makes it a requirement to approve each media request before officials are allowed to interview. Nansel, who is currently on the east coast at training camp, exchanged emails with MTN Sports and is working to get the interview request approved.

It’s unclear whether a Montana native has ever escalated to a full-time NBA officials crew.

Billings native Bryan Pancich is officiating in the NHL and Helena’s Brian Knight is a Major League Baseball umpire.