Referee, 43, collapses, dies at Mayor's Academy game

Spivey, official 8 years, was public-works worker

January 16, 1999|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Basketball referee Wilbert T. Spivey collapsed and died yesterday at halftime of the Randallstown-Patterson boys game he was working at Coppin State College.

Spivey, 43, had an apparent heart attack during the game, which was part of the third-annual Mayor's Basketball Academy tournament.

Following courtside efforts by two athletic trainers and others to revive him, he was taken by ambulance to nearby Liberty Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The game continued, and Randallstown, ranked No. 18 locally, won easily.

"He was bending over to get a ball and just collapsed. They [paramedics] said he had had a massive heart attack," said official Wayne Randall of the referee's Board 290. "It's a shock to everyone. He was a hard-working official, and it's a shame we had to lose someone of his caliber."

Spivey, a Baltimore native known as "Bill," was employed as a traffic safety investigator at the Baltimore public works department's Ashburton/Waterford building in Druid Hill.

One of his co-workers was Daryl Wade, coach of City College's basketball team. Wade described Spivey as a doting single parent of a son.

Wade's father, Bob Wade, the city school system's athletic director and one of the Mayor's Basketball Academy organizers, called Spivey "one of the nicest people you'll ever meet."

Spivey, said the elder Wade, became a referee because he wanted to "do something positive for today's youth." He has been a referee about eight years.

Fellow referee Brandon Williams described Spivey as "calm, cool, and collected under pressure" during a game.

Arrangements were incomplete.

Pub Date: 1/16/99

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