NBA referee Greg Willard dies at age 54, less than a year after pancreatic cancer diagnosis

The NBA says longtime referee Greg Willard has died, less than a year after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was 54.

Willard died Monday night. Plans were made for all NBA games Tuesday and Wednesday to be preceded by moments of silence in Willard's memory, and all league officials will wear wristbands or patches with his No. 57 for the rest of the season.

Willard officiated 1,494 regular-season games, 136 playoff games, two NBA Finals games and the 2006 All-Star game. He received the diagnosis during last season's playoffs.

NBA Commissioner David Stern says Willard "touched all those with whom he came in contact thanks to his extraordinary spirit, dedication and hard work."

Willard lived in Huntington Beach, Calif.