Legendary Abbotsford official Jim Cervo is set to be inducted into the Basketball BC Hall of Fame.
Basketball BC made the announcement late last month, and it is another accolade in the storied career of the longtime local referee.
Cervo has been a mainstay in the basketball community, both locally and nationally, for 35 years. He began refereeing in 1984, starting with high school games, and would go on to officiate many provincial championships at all tiers, including multiple appearances at the B.C. AAA boys basketball championships at the Agrodome in Vancouver.
Cervo would progress to the college and university levels, and was selected to officiate at ten CCAA and CIS/U SPORTS national championships, working the gold medal game at the majority of these tournaments.
He was also instrumental in the development of several officials’ associations, beginning with the Fraser Valley Basketball Officials Association (FVBOA), which would come to be known as one of the premier refereeing bodies in the province. He also helped to establish a “provincial college panel” of referees to officiate CCAA games throughout B.C., and was a founding member of the Canada West Panel of Officials which manages more than 125 referees for U Sports games from Victoria to Winnipeg. As well, Cervo is designated as a provincial and national evaluator, coaching and training basketball officials for all of B.C. and across Canada.
Eventually, Cervo would get involved at the national level with the Canadian Association of Basketball Officials (CABO) where he served on the executive for nearly a decade as the education officer. In that position, he revamped the national training program for all Canadian officials, writing a new certification manual (NOCP) that would become the standard for officiating across the country. The manual is still in use today. As a member of the CABO executive, Jim worked closely with Canada Basketball and FIBA (the international governing body of basketball) on behalf of the officials in Canada.
Cervo retired from refereeing at the college and university levels in 2018, after almost 30 years. He continues to officiate high school basketball in the Fraser Valley and serves on the B.C. Basketball Officials’ Association executive.
He was also inducted into the Abbotsford Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.
Cervo is set to be inducted alongside athlete Brent Charleton, coaches Terry Michell, Elmer Speidel and Neil Brown. The 1966 Molson’s Senior Women and the 1929 New Westminster Adanacs.
John Buis, the chairman of the Hall of Fame selection committee, noted that this year’s inductees span almost 90 years of basketball involvement in the province.
“It is a great lens on our sport as we welcome individuals and teams whose accomplishments are truly memorable,” he stated in a press release. “I would like to thank the BBC Hall of Fame Committee for their hard work in the selection process and the BBC Board for their work in receiving the selections.”
Stu Graham, the president of BBC, stated it should be a memorable night.
“This is Basketball BC’s 18th year of celebrating Hall of Fame inductees and this cross section of inductees represents excellence in individual play and participation, tremendous coaching successes, the best of officiating and national championship team play and champions,” he stated. “It looks to be a another wonderful night of celebration.”
The Basketball BC Hall of Fame Gala will be held Saturday May 9, 2020 at the River Rock Casino in Richmond.