Keeney breaking barriers as female referee

Jordyn Keeney officiated the Class C2 State Championship game between Amherst and Freeman
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 10:08 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 14, 2023 at 12:32 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - After the NSAA Boys State Basketball Semifinals, a young fan was waiting for an autograph - of the referee. Turns out the two had the same first name, Jordyn. They even spelled it the same.

“Brought a tear to my eye,” Jordyn Keeney said.

Less than 24 hours later, Keeney was officiating the Class C2 State Championship game between Amherst and Freeman. It was an historic occasion, as Keeney became the first female to officiate an NSAA Boys State Final.

“Its taboo for a girl to ref a boys tournament,” Keeney said. “To be chose, I’m honored.”

Keeney was informed of her assignment a week before the State Finals. She received the notice via e-mail. Keeney admits she was nervous ahead of the 4:30 p.m. game at Pinnacle Bank Arena. However, she remained poised and focused on calling a fair game, which Keeney described as a physical contest.

“There’s not a lot of us (women officials),” Keeney said. “The ones that are working are more than capable to ref any game whether that’s boys or girls. We’re officials. And we’re good.”

Keeney worked alongside Kevin Mar for the Class C2 Championship game. Mar said that Keeney has an extremely bright future as an official. He notes that Keeney has worked extremely hard perfecting her craft. In addition to high school basketball, Keeney has reffed women’s college basketball games over the past two seasons.