NBA Finals refs to honor Greg Willard following cancer diagnosis

http://twitter.com/#!/HowardBeckNYT/status/212240523245785088

In a heartfelt gesture for fellow NBA referee Greg Willard, officials have decided to wear No. 57 patches on their uniforms throughout the Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder championship series.

Willard, who is one of the most respected refs in all of sports, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He has been a referee for 24 years and officiated over 1,500 regular season games, including 120 playoff game.

We wish him a quick and painless recovery.

Thoughts and prayers to #NBA referee and Long Beach State classmate Greg Willard, who was diagnosed recently with pancreatic cancer.

— Elliott Teaford (@ElliottTeaford) June 11, 2012

Wishing all the best to NBA ref Greg Willard diagnosed w/pancreatic cancer. There are a lot of "look at me" refs. He is not one of them

— Chuck Cooperstein (@coopmavs) June 11, 2012

NBA officials to wear 57 patch in finals to honor ref Greg Willard, who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Prayers to him and family

— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) June 11, 2012

For once we won't hate on a ref as we send our wishes to long-time NBA ref Greg Willard, who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

— Pinwheel Empire (@pinwheelempire) June 11, 2012

#Prayers go out to Greg Willard and his family on a full recovery. Greg is one of the NBA's best officials, and a standup, class guy.

— Lyndon Baty (@LyndonBaty5) June 11, 2012

Warmest wishes to Greg Willard and his family on a full recovery. Greg is one of the NBA's best officials, and a standup, class guy.

— NBA Guru (@NBAGuru) June 11, 2012

Get well soon, Greg Willard. I 2nd what JVG said, great ref with a great demeanor. Wish more were like him.

— Matt Bullard (@bull50) June 10, 2012

Greg Willard could officiate this game better from his hospital bed. For real. #Celtics #Heat #getwellsoon

— Brendan Chard (@brendanchard) June 10, 2012

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2012/06/11/nba-finals-refs-to-honor-greg-willard-following-cancer-diagnosis/

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