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Longtime referee Williard dies at age 54

The SportsXchange

Veteran NBA referee Greg Willard died Monday after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

He was 54.

Williard was diagnosed June 11 after working 51 regular-season games and seven playoff games last season. His last game was Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on June 3.

"Greg epitomized what it meant to be an NBA Referee through dedication to his craft, hard work, and integrity both on-and-off the court," National Basketball Referees Association general counsel Lee Seham said. "He was not only a great NBA Referee, but more importantly a wonderful person, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time."

Willard officiated more than 1,500 NBA regular-season and playoff games during his 24 seasons in the NBA.

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