Throw the Ball High
No doubt about it, there was a time when Mickey Crowley was the busiest man in basketball.
A legendary, world-class referee with a reputation for humor, fairness, and getting the call right, Mickey always has been a man in motion. He officiated dozens of college games annually from 1962 until 1991. His last game was the NCAA championship battle between Duke and Kansas.
A member of six halls of fame, Mickey was on the ground floor in the 1980s when the Big East emerged as the nation’s premier basketball conference. His face was a fixture at Madison Square Garden.
Known for his quick wit, Mickey for years has told stories of his biggest games and coaches like Lou Carnesecca, John Thompson, P. J. Carlesimo, John Chaney, Mike Krzyzewski, Rick Pitino, and Bob Knight.
Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Mullin, and Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) are among the more notable players Mickey has seen up close since he began his officiating career in 1957.
Mickey also ran one of the nation’s top basketball camps for referees for nearly forty years. He traveled the world officiating games, notably in Puerto Rico, Uruguay, and Yugoslavia. Among his many stops was a stage in Las Vegas, where he once sang a duet with Suzanne Somers.
Being a referee was Mickey’s part-time job. For years, his full-time job was as a Nassau County administrator who assigned officials for hundreds of high school, college, and junior college sporting events. A native of Queens, New York, he served in the army, drove a truck, tended bar, managed a baseball team, and fathered a family.
Now, he can proudly add author to his vast list of accomplishments with the publication of this autobiographical memoir, Throw the Ball High.