Packer's Next Chapter

Packer's Next Chapter

Basketball

Packer's Next Chapter


Years later and former Ohio State player Marscilla Packer has found yet another way to make an impact during basketball games at the Schottenstein Center.


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All-Ohio point guard Zia Cooke had just scored 21 points to help her Toledo Rogers squad beat New Philadelphia 62-57 to advance to the state championship, but did she know that one of the game’s officials had, in the past, scored her own share of baskets on that same Schottenstein Center court?

She admitted she was unaware it was former Buckeye Marscilla Packer who had been blowing the whistle for fouls and violations.

Packer is only about a decade removed from her senior season at Ohio State in which she averaged 15.1 points per game and had made 80 three-point field goals. Those numbers earned her second-team All-Big Ten honors, and she heard her name called by the Phoenix Mercury in the third round of the WNBA draft.

She spent stints playing professionally in Germany, Sweden and Turkey before she found a new way to be involved in the sport.

“Not in the least bit surprised that Marscilla would have an interest in officiating,” said her former coach at OSU, Jim Foster. “She had a good head for the game. It is a good way to stay connected to something she had a passion for. I wish other players would be more so inclined.”

Indeed, some others are. Former Buckeye men’s players Jay Burson and Treg Lee have also worked as licensed officials.

As for Packer? The Ohio High School Athletics Association uses a merit-based system to assign tournament games, so the fact that she was calling a state semifinal is a sign that she hasn’t slowed down since her playing days.

However, when Zia Cooke was told that proves that she, too, could one day be a successful official, she just smiled and shook her head.

Not all basketball players want to really rule on the court.

Contact/Follow @BuckeyeWire for continuing coverage, news, notes and opinion for Ohio State.

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