Youth Referee Organization on the Rise in Oakland


Will Smith, founder of Tailor Made Officials Basketball Association, Inc. (TMOBA) with officiates Frank Knight  and Kenny Thomas at Jamtown.

Will Smith, founder of Tailor Made Officials Basketball Association, Inc. (TMOBA) trains hundreds of youth and adults the art of referring professional sports events. By offering free trainings, Smith says his organization allows the community to “earn legal money & turn away from the life of crime.” In less than four years, Smith has grown the organization from a solo operation to 50 referees and officials to date.

TMOBA unlike other companies is open year-round and offers free referee/officials trainings throughout the year, three times a week. “Other companies have trainings 2-4 months out of the year & they charge $150 up to $2,000 for trainings,” said Smith. “We don’t just offer referee trainings, we also have a scorekeeping training every Monday throughout the year at Jamtown from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. Our trainings are primarily targeting youth and young adults but adults are welcome.”

Smith began his career as a game official in 1997 and finds great skills on the court translate to great discipline off the court. Smith hopes to offer services to high schools and provide scholarships to athletes and students who excel academically. “We would like to sponsor basketball teams in the future and offer basketball camps and basketball officiating camps for our new and current officials.”

TMOBA also has a program for women referees and officials. Through (WEM) Women Empowerment Movement, the program includes 10 women out of 50 referees in the company in the program.

“I’m so happy to work with such a solid organization,” said Elisha ‘Lili’ Davis, Arizona State University Women’s Basketball Alumni. “The opportunities, our network and the leadership of Will Smith are second to none.”

Will Smith, founder of Tailor Made Officials Basketball Association, Inc. (TMOBA) with Elisha ‘Lili’ Davis, Arizona State University Women’s Basketball Alumni and Scholar-Athlete Development Coach for TMOBA pose om the court.

As a Scholar-Athlete Development Coach with TMOBA, Davis said Smith creates a level playing field for participants.

“Games at TMOBA are shared equally amongst each referee and official. There is no favoritism shown. The different levels of basketball games we officiate are indoor basketball leagues, street ball tournaments, wheel chair leagues, birthday parties, continuation high school leagues, middle school leagues, AAU tournaments, adult leagues, semi pro, ABA leagues and fundraisers, added Davis.

TMOBA’s services spread from Yuba City to Sonoma, Marin, Brentwood, Antioch, Pittsburgh, Stockton, Livermore, Fremont and San Jose. With $1 million, Smith says he can begin the development of a 24/7 state of the art sports facility in the Oakland area.

“It’s really important for me to build a 24/7 safe haven that will sustain youth and young adults of all ethnic cultures and backgrounds with opportunities, jobs, mentorships and structure from our adult staff.  “I would love to have a current or retired NBA native from Oakland help us out and we will accept help from anyone or company who believes in the vision,” said Smith.

For more information, contact Will Smith at (510) 459-8905 or email [email protected]



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