Leon Wood Biography – NBA Referee And Former NBA Player

  • 5 MIN READ
Leon Wood Bio

Leon Wood has officiated over 1,500 playoff games in his career. Image Source: NBA Ref Stats/Twitter.

  • Birth DateMarch 25, 1962
  • Birth Name Osie Leon Wood III
  • Age 60
  • Height 6' 3''
  • Weight 185.19 pounds
  • Birth Place Columbia, South Carolina
  • Birth Sign Aries
  • Nationality American
  • Profession NBA Referee
  • Relationship Status Divorced
  • Eye Color Black
  • Hair Color Black
  • Children Whitney Wood, Wolfgang Wood
  • Education B.S. Health and Human Sciences
  • Awards Honors Orange County Hall of Fame, California State Fullerton Hall of Fame
  • Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Wood

Leon Wood is a former professional basketball player and one of the current referees of the National Basketball Association (NBA) who has been officiating for over twenty years. Leon was drafted as the 10th pick by the Philadelphia 76ers and later became one of the only three NBA players to become a referee.

Despite having such a long and prominent career, many are still unaware of the NBA referee. With the ever-growing popularity of NBA competitions, people are wondering about his personal life too. So, let’s discuss more about Leon Wood’s family, career, and net worth in this article.

Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist

On March 25, 1962, Osie Leon Wood III was born to American parents. Leon Wood’s father and mother raised him in Columbia, South Carolina. Also, his mom, Evelyn Wood, encouraged him to be respectful to referees from a young age. Evelyn’s teachings might have also shaped Wood’s perception of officials as he took up officiating after he retired.

The official was very adamant about getting an education and not just concentrating on his basketball career. He was afraid of not having a degree to fall back upon if he failed in basketball. So, Wood attended Saint Monica Catholic High School before going to California State University, Fullerton, to earn a degree in Physical Education. He graduated with B.S. Health and Human Sciences in 1984.

Leon Wood's Family
Leon Wood graduated with a physical education degree. Image Source: Covers/Twitter.

Alongside competing in collegiate tournaments, the NBA referee also participated in the Olympics. He won his first Olympic gold medal at the 1983 Pan American Games and the second one with the 1984 US Olympic Men’s Basketball Team under coach Bobby Knight. With those accolades to his name, he was soon considered one of the best players produced by the university.

Also, Wood played for the University of Arizona for just one season before transferring to Cal State Fullerton. There, he was lauded as a great talent and was inducted into the Orange County Hall of Fame and the California State Fullerton Hall of Fame.

Also Read: More About Basketball Head Coach Daniyal Robinson 

Leon Wood Net Worth And Career

As mentioned above, the referee has been officiating for over 20 years now. Having officiated in so many games, he has amassed a significant amount of fame and fortune. So, we can assume that Leon Wood’s net worth might be a considerable amount.

Having refereed over 1,500 games, including twenty-six playoff games in his remarkable career, Wood must have garnered a massive wealth. In addition, he has also refereed in the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston, which must have hugely boosted his income.


Before joining the NBA, he had three years of CBA refereeing experience and a year of the collegiate conference in Ohio Valley and Atlantic Sun.

According to Sports Brief, an NBA referee can earn up to $10,000 per game, refereeing only the playoff round matches. Also, they can earn from $180K to $550K. Since he has been officiating in NBA for a long time, he might have a salary of around $550,000.

Thus, Leon Wood’s net worth must be immense. Moreover, Wood had quite a successful playing career in the NBA as he spent six seasons with several teams.

Leon also was selected to play in the European League as he was signed for the playoffs and played three games for MTV 1846 Giessen. He scored 77 points before leaving for Spain’s CAI Zaragoza in 1989. Furthermore, the former basketball player had signed a four-year-long contract with the Philadelphia 76ers worth $1.02 million, including a $135K signing bonus. Therefore, Leon Wood’s salary must have been around the same range from other teams.

Kevin Cutler is another NBA veteran with a massive net worth.

Leon Wood Is A Divorcé

The NBA referee was married to his partner Tia Wood. She played for the UCLA Women’s basketball team during her younger days. Moreover, the ex-pair tied the knot in the late 1980s. But as per the 2009 Los Angeles Times article, they are divorced.

Furthemore, Leon Wood’s ex-wife seems to be a secretive person as she does not like being around cameras. She wasn’t spotted with her then-husband in any event either when they were married. In addition, Leon likely is not active on Instagram or other social media profiles. So, it’s pretty challenging to find out the reason behind the former duo’s separation.

Children Following In Leon’s Footsteps

The Olympian and his former spouse welcomed two beautiful and talented kids during their marriage. Leon Wood’s children are Whitney Wood and Wolfgang Wood. 

Wolfgang is mostly active in basketball, following his father’s footsteps and becoming a prominent player. Wood was born on March 18, 1994, and is currently the head coach for Saint Bonaventure Catholic High School in California. Leon Wood’s son started playing basketball during his high school days. He also aspired to be a sports commentator and majored in communications.


Leon Wood’s daughter, Whitney, was born in June 1989. She played college basketball for Seton Hall University.

Leon and his family must be living a comfortable and content life. So, let’s hope they can keep doing what they love in the coming days.

Trivia And Facts

  • Leon’s favorite movie is Black Panther, while his favorite TV show is Law & Order.
  • He loves hip-hop music.
  • His favorite places to visit are Africa and Australia.