Officiating is a Gant family tradition

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) Kenny Gant got his start as a basketball official in 1985 and he got into the business because of the money.

"Actually, I started refereeing church league games because they were paying $9 a game and all my buddies were making like $2.70 an hour at McDonalds."

The pay was considerably more wearing a whistle.

"Like $25, or whatever it is, for JV games. I'm like, I'm in."

Gant has excelled as a referee. He's been doing it for the better part of 30+ years has been good to Gant. He's done major division one baseball and basketball and a pair of Sweet 16 tournaments in the 1990's. Last night Gant had two new partners with him. He'd never worked with them both before.

"I'm gonna probably like a kid in a candy store. I'm going to be ecstatic that I'm working with my two sons."

That's right. Gant worked with sons Marshall and Robert and they followed in dad's footsteps.

"It wasn't really a thought, at first," said 18-year-old Robert. "I always really loved watching him. I didn't really think about me doing it."

They've been watching and emulating their dad for years, so they know each others tendencies.

"Everybody is different on how they handle coaches and players situations," explains Kenny. "They've got to put their personality into it."

"I know how he referees," says 20-year-old Marshall referring to his father. " He knows how I referee, so we have pretty smooth games for the most part, until Robert decides to throw a technical somewhere."

"They give me some pointers, here and there, but I brush them off," says Robert with a smile. "I think that I'm the best ref in the world sometimes, so. You know, I've lived with three brothers my whole life and with a pretty outspoken dad, so it's never really affected me the way I think it's affected some other people. I just take it and put it to the side a little bit. I don't think I let my emotions get into it."

In the Madison Southern at Sayre game, all three were officiating a varsity game for the first time.

These three may not be on the court at the same time again, but that it happened at all is what makes this special, especially for dad.

"So it's just another thing that we do together and share our passion for the game and it's been great."

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