By Haylee Pence
TROY — A Troy man has been selected to officiate the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) state girls final game on March 11.
Nicholas “Nick” Swink, 31, of Troy, is in his 14th year of officiating basketball and is a member of the West Central Ohio Basketball Officials Association.
His officiating peers, coaches, and assigners selected him among 11 other officials throughout the entire state of Ohio to referee the state title games.
“It’s an incredible honor. I feel like I work hard and give my best every night to every game regardless of competition level. I do just a good of a job as the other guys. There’s so many other guys who are deserving. I don’t think I do anything special compared to my peers. Being selected is a huge honor. There’s a lot of guys who are so deserving who don’t get the opportunity. I’m incredibly grateful,” said Swink.
Swink is a graduate of Troy Christian high school where he played golf, basketball, and baseball. He went on to the University of Findlay to graduate as a doctor of physical therapy. He returned to Miami County to start his career with Upper Valley Medical Center. His wife, Bailey Swink, is a nurse at Miami Valley Hospital.
“I like the community-size, the resources, the culture, the living environment. The area has always been home. I’ve never had any inspirations to go anywhere else than the Miami County area. The bulk of my family is here,” said Swink.
He started his officiating career in 2009 when he took the basketball officiating class in his senior year of high school in order to get his permit. From that, he’s taken multiple classes and attended camps and trainings to further expand his knowledge and skills.
“Sports are a big part of my life. I don’t know what I would do without sports, honestly. They consume a lot of free time. Officiating takes a lot of time and commitment. Sports have always been a part of my life. Being able to give back to kids like it was given to me, it’s just come full circle,” said Swink. “I enjoy being involved in the game and coming back.”
Swink explained the benefits of officiating and why he enjoys it.
“It keeps me connected. I’ve built connections with my peers, coaches, the students, and the community. It also keeps me in shape. It’s exercise on a nightly basis. There’s a certain level of physical commitment to work games. It’s also a supplemental income, but I don’t referee for the money. I do it because I enjoy the game. I enjoy the brotherhood that is officiating,” said Swink.
He thanked several people for their support throughout the years. Swink also thanked Dave Wortman and Denny Morris for their support and efforts in his officiating career.
“They really took chances on me and gave me opportunities to get into varsity basketball and helped advanced my career,” Swink said. “They gave me confidence.”
This is not the first time Swink has been selected to officiate a state game. He was selected in 2020 to officiate, but the pandemic shut the games down. He had the opportunity to officiate the state semi-finals in 2021 instead. This upcoming game will be his second time.
Swink also expressed gratitude toward his dad with a thank you for taking him to the first officiating class.
“If it wasn’t for my dad, I don’t know if I would be officiating. I don’t think I would have sought it out by myself. He’s the reason I started officiating,” he said.
“I can’t thank my wife enough. The sacrifices she makes during the season. She makes a really big sacrifice. She goes to a lot of games too which can make some nights a little long for her,” said Swink.
“I never would have dreamed this is where I would be when I started as an 18-year-old. It’s been a fun ride and I’m nowhere close to being done. I have a lot of years left to give,” said Swink.