Born in the Philadelphia suburb of Havertown, Pennsylvania, Donaghy attended Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield, Pennsylvania and three other NBA referees: Joe Crawford, Mike Callahan, along with Ed Malloy.  In 1989, Donaghy graduated with a diploma in marketing and sales. While at Villanova, he performed on the baseball team of the school. According to the National Basketball Referee’s Association, Donaghy participated and earned All-Catholic and All-Delaware County honors in baseball and All-Delaware County honors in basketball throughout high school, but then–Villanova baseball trainer George Bennett asserts that Donaghy did not perform on the varsity team and no records indicate he was chosen to the All-Catholic group in baseball or appointed to the All-Delaware County basketball staff.
His wife Kimberly was wed by donaghy . They have four brothers. In September, 2007, soon after the scandal broke, Kim filed for divorce.
Officiating livelihood Before officiating in the NBA, Donaghy spent five years officiating in Pennsylvania high school basketball and seven seasons in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA), and he was the head official for the 1993 CBA All-Star Game. The following year, he joined the NBA, where he worked for 13 decades, officiating in 772 regular-season games and 20 playoff games. Donaghy was a participant at the NBA’s Read to Achieve program, where he participated in an event in the Universal Charter college throughout the 2002 NBA Finals. [ His number was 21.
Donaghy was among three referees who worked the Pacers–Pistons brawl at The Palace of Auburn Hills on November 19, 2004, which ended in a fight between Pacers players and Pistons fans.]
During a 2003 regular-season match, Donaghy called a technical foul on Rasheed Wallace, then playing with the Portland Trail Blazers, for throwing a ball at another official in a game. Wallace faced Donaghy after the match, yelling obscenities and, according to Donaghy, threatening him. Wallace was suspended for seven games; this is the longest suspension issued from the league to get the event not involving violence or medication.
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