Nation’s first African-American conference sends strong message of inclusion — especially for football
@WRIGHT_ONE via https://theundefeated.com
Sharlanda Demingo had to make a call — and a tough one at that.
Her son, Amadious, demanded that she quit one of her jobs so he could see more of her at home.
“He was in middle school and playing basketball,” Demingo recalled of the conversation with her then-12-year-old. “He was in the band, and I would miss his games sometimes because I was always out, either at a basketball game or at a football game, so I couldn’t go to his marching band events.”
When Amadious’ grades started to suffer, things got real. “It seemed like he started struggling in school, too, so I had to pay attention to that.”
At the time, Demingo had been pursuing her passion as a referee, in basketball and football. As much as she knew she had to put her time in, success there couldn’t come at the expense of family. “So I decided to pursue football primarily and if I wanted to do basketball, I’d do some rec games on the side but not continue to pursue basketball.”
It was the best call she could have made — there’s been zero second-guessing.
Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Demingo developed a love for basketball after joining the Air Force in 2002. After completing basic training in Lackland, Texas, her first duty station stop took her to Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany, where she started officiating basketball, following in her father’s footsteps. “Growing up as a little …