Hoops official dies after overtime playoff game
District 3 basketball
referees today were mourning the death of one of their own.
Veteran ref Timothy M. Bartholomew, 50, of Akron, died last night after
suffering an apparent heart attack after he officiated the overtime
playoff boys game between Hershey and Boiling Springs held at Red Land
High School, officials said.
Rich Czarnecki, men's officials' representative for District 3, said
Bartholomew was seated on a chair in a locker room after the 6 p.m. game
when he slumped over and was unresponsive.
Czarnecki said Bartholomew's fellow officials called for Red Land
Athletic Director Brian McNamara who summoned an ambulance and began
Bartholomew was taken to Harrisburg Hospital, Czarnecki said.
Czarnecki was shocked. He said he met with Bartholomew at halftime of
the game when the two shook hands and embraced before Czarnecki left to
attend another game.
"You're always under the realization that this could happen to you,''
Czarnecki said. "And I've been in situations where this happened to other
brother officials of mine.''
Officials across the district were notified of the death by e-mail.
Bartholomew worked out of the Lancaster Chapter of PIAA basketball
officials and primarily called games in the Lancaster/Lebanon League,
"He was a super guy,'' Czarnecki said. "He did anything for me. Anytime
I needed anything, he was always there.''
Czarnecki said officiating isn't just strenuous, it's stressful, with
unhappy fans and coaches chirping in officials' ears.
"It's not the exercise and the cardio, it's the stress,'' Czarnecki
said. "And you're talking about a playoff situation. Being an official is
"He was one of my veteran guys and he worked all the time,'' Czarnecki
said. "He was in good shape, too. That's the sad part about it.''