GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Like father, like son, with a whistle and stripes.
Raymie Styons has officiated college basketball for almost 30 years. But last week, he officiated a game with his son, Trey, for the very first time.
“It’s a little different deal when you look over there and see your boy,” said the elder Styons. “He knows, and trusts, and that’s what refereeing is all about, trusting each other. He knows that in a particular game something could go wrong and we could help him with it.”
Trey was a toddler when his Dad was getting started. He grew up watching his father officiate game after game, moving up the ladder to near the top of his profession.
The younger Styons certainly enjoyed his first game with his Dad.
“It was a blast,” said the younger Styons. ” I’ve watched him for many, many years. I always thought it was pretty cool that my Dad got to do something like that. Now it’s even crazier that I have the opportunity to go out there and see him across the court. It was a surreal deal, realizing where we are and how far we’ve come.”
Trey says he loved to watch his Dad, but he wasn’t sure at first that the profession was for him.
“The first time I worked at Bobby Pennington’s camp I called him and told him that this was not for me,” said Trey. “I don’t want to do this. He (Raymie) said to give it the rest of the weekend and tell me how you feel. By the end of the weekend, I had gotten bitten by the bug and ever since I have been chasing that dream. It’s kind of crazy where I am now. I had a lot of people in my corner.
And the biggest one in his corner is Dad.
“It’s hard to describe,” said Raymie. “There are probably only a couple in the country to be blessed with the same opportunity. We thank the supervisor, and I thank Jeff as well for giving us a chance to come over here. The game kind of got out of hand, which made it easier for both of us, and obviously it was a special evening for the Styons.”