The veteran NBA referee Eric Lewis has been married to his wife, Vanessa-Blair Lewis, for almost a decade.
The couple is widely known for their involvement in basketball games in the United States.
While Eric spent many years officiating NBA games, Vanessa has been coaching college women athletes for over two decades now.
Eric’s wife, Vanessa, is currently the head coach of the women’s basketball team at George Mason University.
Eric Lewis, born on May 20, 1971, worked as a referee in the NBA for 19 seasons. During his career spanning nearly two decades, he officiated over 1000 career, with 82 playoff and six NBA finals games.
Born in Daytona Beach, Florida, Eric started refereeing at the high school level.
Soon after, he scaled new heights quickly, officiating matches at the collegiate level, in the United States Basketball League, and in the NBA G League in the early 2000s.
However, his officiating career ended after the NBA discovered his involvement in unusual social media activity. Lewis announced his retirement from his officiating career in August 2023.
Eric Lewis’s Wife: Vanessa Blair-Lewis
The former NBA referee Eric Lewis’s wife, Vanessa Blair, is a former basketball player turned coach.
Originally from Maryland, Vanessa attended Mount St. Mary’s University in Frederick County, where she played for their women’s basketball team from 1988 to 1992.
The two-time NEC Player of the Year (1991 and 1992) honor recipient also earned the NEC Player of the Decade in 1996.
Initially intending to become a professional basketball player, Vanessa traveled to Sweden after graduation. However, after two years, she returned to the United States and served as her college’s women’s team’s assistant coach.
In 1998, Mount St. Mary’s promoted her to the head coach position. That same year, she became the NEC Coach of the Year, becoming the only person named NEC player and coach of the year.
Moreover, she worked as a head coach for Bethune-Cookman University’s women’s basketball head coach for twelve years.
With BCU, she became the first woman to win the MEAC coach of the year, consecutively for three years and four times overall.
Blair-Lewis is a head coach for George Mason University’s women’s basketball team.
Vanessa and the NBA referee, Eric Lewis, married in 2013. Together, they have two sons: Blair and Bryce Lewis.
Eric’s Social Media Scandal And Retirement
In May 2023, a pair of social media users, including @PabloEscoburner, posted screenshots of tweets and comments by the user @CutliffBlair on X (formerly Twitter).
The social media users claimed that it had to be the burner account of someone from within the NBA.
To support their claim, they further stated that @CutliffBlair defended NBA referees’ decisions and frequently responded to negative tweets concerning the NBA official’s decision, especially that of Eric Lewis.
Although later deleted, the account followed only six accounts, including that of the George Mason women’s basketball team, where Eric’s wife works as a head coach.
Consequently, the NBA opened an investigation into the social media controversy on May 28, as discussing officiating matters publicly without the association’s approval goes against its rule.
However, amidst the ongoing investigation, Eric announced his retirement on August 30, 2023, prompting the NBA to stop its investigation into the matter.