MACON – Recent Mercer University graduate Quaniece Spearman attended the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) National Basketball Tournament last month in Columbus, Ohio, where she was named an All-American Official.
Spearman is the third Mercer student to be named an All-American Official in the past five years, and is the first female to represent the University by receiving this distinction reserved for the top eight intramural basketball officials in the country.
“This is no small accomplishment,” said Todd Thomas, director of recreational sports and wellness at Mercer, “especially considering the overwhelming majority of officials who receive this distinction attend large public state institutions.”
Spearman, who is originally from Indiana but moved to Macon in 2007, is a retired disabled Army veteran. She served five years before coming to Mercer, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in information science and technology with a minor in technical communication, which she received at commencement earlier this month.
Spearman enrolled at Mercer in 2016 having never blown a whistle. She received training through the University’s intramural sports program and worked her way up to officiating this year’s Georgia High School Association state basketball semifinals and the NIRSA national club women’s championship game.
“I absolutely love officiating basketball. I’ve always had an extreme love for the game. However, while I was in the Army, I tore ligaments in both of my ankles, which led to surgery in both ankles. Due to that, officiating is the only way I can stay connected with the game,” said Spearman. “I am extremely blessed and honored to be recognized as an All-American Official. I’m a firm believer that hard work pays off. I always strive to be better each day.”
Spearman plans to continue officiating basketball at the high school and women’s collegiate levels as well as building her real estate investing business.
At Mercer, she was active in Zeta Phi Beta sorority and Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity. She has been selected an All-Tournament official four times at NIRSA regional tournaments and has received numerous awards and nominations for her service to NIRSA and Mercer Recreational Sports and Wellness.
She enjoys working out, lifting weights, riding her motorcycle, playing cards, listening to music, writing poetry and playing with her dog.