NEW ORLEANS, La.—Jamie Luckie, an Ogdensburg native and 1984 Graduate of SUNY Potsdam, has been selected by the NCAA to officiate during the Men’s Division I Basketball Championship this weekend. This will be Luckie’s third consecutive Final Four and 13th straight NCAA Tournament.
Luckie, who moved to Ogdensburg with his family when he was five, has been around sports all his life. His father, Tom, was the former executive director of the Boys and Girls Club in Ogdensburg and Jamie played sports all the way through high school. After he graduated from Ogdensburg Free Academy in 1978 he played basketball and soccer at North Country Community College.
Luckie transferred to Potsdam in the fall of 1982. He played soccer for the Bears for two years under then head coach Jim Rishe. Luckie credits Rishe and legendary Potsdam basketball coach and athletic director Jerry Welsh for encouraging him to become a college basketball official.
“They really influenced me early and encouraged me,” said Luckie. “Jim Rishe was always urging me to attend the officiating clinics and Jerry Welsh was very kind to me I as I was moving up through the ranks.”
Luckie spent five years as a referee for North Country high school games then advanced to the Division III college level. In 1990 he moved to Charlotte, N.C. to pursue his officiating career in a big-time Division I market. He has since become recognized as one of the elite referees in Division I basketball, respected by coaches and colleagues alike.
“North Country kids are tough and driven and I think those values carried over into officiating for me,” Luckie said.
During the regular season Luckie officiates games for most of the major eastern conferences including the Big East, SEC, Atlantic 10, Colonial and especially the ACC. For the NCAA Tournament, officials are evaluated and 98 are selected to referee games. Each game the officials are evaluated and much like the teams in the tournament, a good performance will earn them a trip to the next round. Luckie said that the types of games can determine whether a referee will be selected to advance.
“Officials are at the mercy of the game. A good clean game is easier to officiate than a physical one. The Syracuse-Ohio State game last weekend was a tough game,” added Luckie on the foul-filled Elite Eight matchup.
Whatever the situation, Luckie has handled it well and as a result is head to New Orleans to referee in the biggest weekend of the year.