MANISTEE — When the Western Michigan Christian girls basketball varsity assistant coach Jim Goorman and the team arrived at the gym in Manistee on Wednesday evening, the junior varsity girls basketball players were sitting around instead of playing their game.
It was a makeup date, and apparently some wires got crossed. The officials who were supposed to work the game had been double booked, and were at another location.
“I just felt bad for the AD, because he was stuck, there was a double booking,” said Jim Goorman, father of varsity head coach Jeremy Goorman.
“The referees were double booked, so they were at a different place, By the time we got there the JV game had not started, and everyone was sitting around for about 20 minutes after the game should have started at 5:30.”
Jim Goorman had been a basketball official for 45 years, and he told the Manistee administrators that he could do it if they wanted him to pitch in.
The athletic director said yes, and borrowed Jim his shoes and found a referee’s shirt, dug up a whistle and Goorman was in business.
One of the Manistee girls parents came out of the bleachers to help, and later in the first quarter of the junior varsity game another gentleman came running in later in the first quarter.
“Everything went fine,” Jim Goorman said. “We had very little arguments, and everybody accepted it. The athletic director was happy.
“Our JV team traveled an hour and a half to get there, and would have been real disappointed if they couldn’t play. So, it was just a natural thing. I reffed with my gray pants instead of black ones, so I looked a little out of place.”
Goorman didn’t work the varsity game, because he wanted to be on the team’s bench and help coach the team with his son. But the other two volunteers worked that game as well.
“We had two guys, and they were experienced referees,” Jim Goorman said. “They did a great job in that second game. I asked my son if he was okay with two referees and Jeremy said, ‘Yeah, that’s fine.’ So, I got to sit on the bench (for the varsity game)”