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Danny Crawford (born November 23, 1953) is a retired American professional basketball referee in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Crawford, made his 23rd straight NBA Finals appearance in Game 1 of the 2017 Finals.[1] Crawford has been an NBA referee since 1985 and has worked at least one NBA Finals game each season since 1995.[2]

Danny Crawford
Dan Crawford, Washington at Orlando 044.jpg
Crawford in 2012
Born (1953-11-23) November 23, 1953 (age 65)
OccupationNBA Referee
Children2 including Drew

Crawford grew up in East Garfield Park on the West Side of Chicago. He attended Ryerson Elementary School and was a basketball star at the now defunct Cregier High School.[2] In 1976, Crawford graduated from Northeastern Illinois University.[3] As a guard, Crawford played hoops for NEIU, averaging 18 points as a sophomore. He majored in physical education, with hopes of becoming a gym teacher. Officiating was something he did on the side, for rec games and intramurals, to make a little extra cash while he was a student-teacher. He began to take it seriously in the late 1970s. He started with high schools, then junior college, and then Division 1 college basketball, where he officiated games in the Missouri Valley Conference.[2] Crawford's first NBA game came in the 1984–85 season. In 2016, Crawford officiated his third NBA All-Star Game.[4]

Crawford's son, Drew, is a professional basketball player.[5]

On August 2, 2017, Crawford retired.[6]


  1. ^ Kopf, Dan (June 3, 2017). "There is another star in the NBA Finals who has LeBron James beat". Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Breen, Justin (August 5, 2013). "Danny Crawford: NBA Official Pays Homage to Slain NEIU Athletic Director". Archived from the original on August 3, 2017. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  3. ^ "Noteworthy at Northeastern: A pair of prestigious awards". February 19, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  4. ^ Johnson, K.C. (February 14, 2016). "All-Star Game assignment never gets old for Chicago ref Danny Crawford". Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  5. ^ "NU Sports – Drew Crawford – 2013–14". Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  6. ^ "Dan Crawford, one of the most accomplished referees in NBA history, is retiring". Retrieved August 2, 2017.