PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — While a player's choices can land them in the spot light, for referees, their choices often put them in hot spots.
- Video of referee Barry Brown goes viral on Instagram
- It was shot by Andrew Graus of Uncle Drew Productions
- More Pinelllas County headlines
- More Good News headlines
If there is a big basketball game in Pinellas County, you can bet Andrew Graus is there. He owns Uncle Drew Productions where he shoots, edits and creates highlight reels for high school athletes looking to play college ball. But a week ago, he got a joking request.
“I was filming the game a few weeks ago, and Barry (Brown) happened to be reffing the game," said Graus.
"I was just talking like, talking trash, ya know, because that is kinda what I do," laughs Brown, a referee. "And I said, ‘When are you going to start doing something for the refs man? You are always doing something for these players.”
“So I was like alright, I will keep that in mind," said Graus. It was a joke. Barry never expected Graus to film him for real. But then Sunday night, Graus posted this:
Sports Center, Overtime, and then Bleacher Report picked up the video and now it is sitting at almost 2 million views. Big names in sports like Le'Veon Bell and Skip Bayless were even chiming in on the joke.
"It was funny though," said Brown with a smile. Not only funny, it also started to get reactions that referees rarely get to witness. It garnered true kindness.
“There was a lot of positivity, because I can think of so many times during the course of the game that there is not as much positivity toward the refs. So that has been a blessing, that has been good," said Brown.
Good for Graus, the young St. Petersburg entrepreneur shooting highlights. And good for Brown, a Pinellas County Middle School teacher who refs on the side.
If the NBA did want to call Brown to the big leagues, he said he just might be open to it - maybe.
“I am a professional educator right now, but I like officiating right now. Don’t get me wrong," laughed Brown.
Brown has worked for Pinellas County Schools for 25 years and refereed for 10 years.
To learn more about Graus and Uncle Drew Productions, click here.