The NBA has chosen former player and longtime league employee Mike Bantom as its executive vice president of referee operations.
Bantom replaces Gen. Ron Johnson, who headed the department from its beginning in 2008 until resigning at the end of July. Bantom will oversee the recruiting, training and development of all NBA officials.
Bantom was a member of the 1972 U.S. Olympic team and played nine years in the NBA. He has worked for the league for the last 23 years, serving as the senior vice president of player development since 1999.
The NBA started the referee operations department following the betting scandal involving former official Tim Donaghy. Commissioner David Stern says Wednesday in a statement that Bantom's ''respect in the basketball community'' makes him an outstanding choice.