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Vaden Looking to Follow Dad's Footsteps - abc27 WHTM

Vaden Looking to Follow Dad's Footsteps

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Lynchburg - Area sports fans may know the name Donnie Vaden.

         The Lynch Station resident officiated 15 years in the NBA and now is the league's Director of Officials.  And while Donnie may not run the floor anymore, there's another Vaden working his way up the ranks.

Chase Vaden, AREA BASKETBALL OFFICIAL, said "It's a crazy job and you see different stuff every night that you thought you would never see."

Never a dull moment for Chase Vaden, who works high school and college games 4-to-6 nights every week hoping to one day maybe make it to the NBA like his Dad.  He's now 25, but could pass for a lot younger.

Vaden said "Players have asked are you old enough to referee or am I older than you, that type of question which is more of a joke than anything."

As the young guy on the crew in nearly all his games, Vaden knows he's a likely target for an angry coach.  So what's Dad told him about handling a hothead?

Vaden said "The main thing is to answer questions, not statements.  When they make statements, if you say something back, they're gonna get madder.  If they ask a question, then you can answer it.  But you can't really answer a statement.  So just knowing what battles to pick and what not to pick."

Chase and his Dad both started officiating in their early 20's.  Area official C.R. Thompson has had the chance to work with both Vadens in his 45-year career.

C.R. Thompson, AREA OFFICIAL FOR 45 YEARS, said "They're more like brothers.  Chase looks up to Donnie and Donnie, you know, thinks Chase does a good job and laid out the plan for him. But they're more like brothers than they are father and son."


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