NBA referees honor Willard

BY foxsports • June 11, 2012

NBA referees are wearing the number 57 on their jerseys during the Finals to honor longtime official Greg Willard.

The National Basketball Referees Association says Willard, who wears the No. 57 referee's jersey, recently was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Willard worked games in this season's playoffs, including one just last week between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics.

The NBRA says it's doing so as a ''gesture of support'' for Willard and his family, and is doing so in cooperation with the NBA.

Willard has been an NBA referee for 24 seasons, with more than 1,500 regular-season games and 120 playoff games and Finals appearances since 2010 on his resume.

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