United World College, Sunday, May 20, 2012 — It’s always fun to watch someone whom you usually only see in a referee’s uniform play the sport. One such referee is Oliver Teh, 23, who turned out for West Coast CSC in the Community Games basketball tournament.
Oliver is a regular referee in the inter-school scene, but this time he was playing for West Coast CSC in their 44-42 win over Telok Blangah . The win ensured his team advanced into the Cluster final.
A passion for the game drove him to pick up the referee’s whistle.
“I started refereeing in 2007. I have refereed NBL (National Basketball League) and inter-school games. I referee about 20 to 30 games a year,” said Oliver.
Oliver’s love of the game started at a young age.
“I’ve played basketball since Primary 3. I played basketball for Henry Park Primary and Nan Hua High. It was love at first sight after watching Michael Jordan play when I was young,” recalled Oliver.
The ongoing Community Games has been a chance to play basketball with good friends.
“I’ve been playing with Neo Bee Tiong for more than 10 years. I’ve known him since I was in Primary 6,” said Oliver, while pointing out his tall West Coast teammate who plays at centre.
“We play in Ayer Rajah CC. Our team has been together for five to six years. Some of the players have been around even longer. Some are from Pandan Gardens, some from Teban Gardens,” said Oliver, who is currently studying biomedical engineering at the Singapore Institute of Management.
“I come here to sweat it out, play together as a team and have fun, not for winning,” added Oliver.