Less than three years ago, Natalie Sago worked the championship round of the Central Christmas Tournament within a crew that also included her father, Dr. Shelton Sago.
A rapid ascent through the basketball officiating ranks has propelled the 2007 Farmington High School graduate to another major career milestone.
Sago was in uniform Monday night in Salt Lake City for her debut NBA regular season assignment as the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Utah Jazz 94-82.
Already an established fixture in WNBA and G League arenas, Sago joined Ashley Moyer-Gleich this week as only the fourth and fifth women to referee a game in league history.
Although currently classified as a “non-staff” referee, the opportunity could become a springboard to eventual full-time status for Sago as the NBA continues to hire more female officials.
As a prep athlete, Sago helped the Farmington girls basketball team finish second during its inaugural final four appearance at the Class 4 state tournament in Columbia.
She was also a four-year standout pitcher for the Knights’ softball program, and eventually signed to play two seasons at Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Mo.