Dee Kantner has been breaking down barriers for women in sports her entire life.
"I never shied away from anything," she said. "I played basketball, football. I was the first person picked in football with all of the guys...the message that we as women can do anything that men can do."
Kantner started officiating basketball games in 1982. She's been selected for every NCAA tournament since 1992, worked 22 Final Fours, three World Championships and spent 5 years officiating in the NBA.
She said it hasn't always been easy.
"When I reffed FIBA it wasn't unusual for somebody to come to the door and knock at three in the morning," she said. "Because women are there for one purpose and to have to go to the door and not offend them...I had my teddy bear...no we are good...to make that statement that I'm there as a professional. I'm there to prove that I can do this job as well as you."
Kantner's talent and drive have led her to become an inductee of the 2019 North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
"It's been an interesting road. It's been a tough road at times but at the same time for whatever reason officiating has been a passion of mine ever since I put a whistle in my mouth.I'm glad to help hopefully, prove to people that women can do this job too."
Kantner's dreams don't end with the induction. She said she is constantly trying to encourage more women to join in her field.
Kantner continues to empower women, becomes inductee of 2019 NC Sports Hall of Fame