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Mother-Daughter basketball duo honoured among other sporting greats at Silver Jubilee Park

Local basketball royalty June and Emilee Tahata will have a plaque dedicated to them in Springfield Rise’s Silver Jubilee Park alongside other Ipswich sporting legends.

A lifelong passion for basketball runs through the veins of Springfield Mother-Daughter duo, June and Emilee Tahata.

Both women have been fortunate enough to create careers for themselves through their love of the sport, with June forming the Pioneers – the Greater Springfield Basketball Association in 2019, and Emilee playing basketball in the United States on a scholarship at La Salle University  - a prestigious college that has been linked to basketball greats Kobe and Joe Bryant.

Their combined efforts to grow a local competition here in Springfield and promote the benefits of basketball to other Ipswich locals will be formally recognised at Springfield Rise’s grand opening of Silver Jubilee Park, where a sign with their name and sporting achievements will be displayed at Court B within the park.

We took the opportunity to sit down with June to learn more about her passion for basketball in Springfield, as well as what it means to be honoured in her local community.

Much more than a hobby for Coach June

Before June started the Pioneers Basketball Club, her involvement in the sport has always been what she describes as ‘full on’ – from competing as a player, to transitioning into coaching – all while raising seven children who also played the sport.

“I’ve been involved with starting and running two clubs from the ground up who are still in operation today,” June said.

“Coaching has been a big part of my life from grassroots through to club, representative and state levels, onto being a national coach at FIBA Tournaments. It’s been a great opportunity to try to make a positive impact in a lot of people’s lives.”

Lovingly known as Coach June to many children and adults alike in the local area, it took more than just passion to ensure the sport would thrive  - with June dedicating a lot of time, effort and strategy to ensure the Pioneers Club could become a Basketball Queensland affiliated association.

“Being the CEO of the Greater Springfield Basketball Association is allowing me to follow through with my vision and goals for basketball in our community,” June said.

“It started with putting together a strategic plan to take Pioneers Basketball from being a club to becoming a Basketball Queensland affiliated association. Now that we are affiliated, my role is to make more connections with sponsors, grow our local competitions and engage in our local community.”

The region is certainly not short of talented basketball players. The Pioneers Club has grown to more than 400 players since its inception and with people like June taking active measures to grow the sport even further, the future of basketball looks bright in Springfield.

“Local interest in the sport has always been around, but with the continual development of our area and families moving in, there is definitely growing numbers and interest in our sport,” June said.

“What’s been lacking is available facilities with a local competition and association. Families are now able to stay and play locally instead of travelling outside of Greater Springfield.”

You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone that is more excited about the opening of Silver Jubilee Park in Springfield Rise than June. With plenty of facilities geared towards basketball players of any ability, she’s eager to see more local kids organically fall in love with the game.

“Just the size and the facilities that Silver Jubilee will prove our community is amazing,” she said. “Even something as simple as car parks will give families the opportunity to come and enjoy what is on offer, such as the basketball courts, fields and barbecue areas.”

Sharing the honours with daughter Emilee is ‘amazing’, said June

It’ll be hard to wipe the smile off June’s face come April 22 at the official grand opening of Silver Jubilee Park where she will see the plaque dedicated to both her and daughter Emilee for the first time.

“There are no words to describe the feeling of having such an honour presented to me and to be able to share it with my daughter is even more amazing,” June said.

“The biggest thing for us is representing Greater Springfield and the family values places like Silver Jubilee Park promote.”

Get to know the other sporting legends that will be honoured at Silver Jubilee Park!

Clayde Osborne – Clayde is a Springfield basketball coach with a passion for helping others. He has been involved in the local basketball community for over a decade, managing clubs and coaching teams. Clayde is an accredited World Association of Basketball coach, and enjoys nothing more than passing on his extensive knowledge of the game to youth in the Greater Springfield Region.

Kelvin Anderson – A passionate basketball fan whose love for the game is a product of his playing and coaching days combined, Kelvin puts all his energy into mentoring those wanting to learn to play the sport.

Narelle Jackson  - A netball allrounder, there is little that Narelle hasn’t done for the sport in Springfield. She has enjoyed coaching, umpiring and inspiring young people to take up netball for the past 20 years, with many of those spent at the Springfield Lakes Netball Club. Her ongoing mission is to encourage the next generation of coaches, players, and umpires.

Mitch Poulain  - Mitch started as a founding member at the Springfield Brumbies before transitioning into a NBL1 basketball player. He still coaches for the Springfield Brumbies, and is passionate about inspiring the next generation of basketballers in the Ipswich region.

Fred Daniel – Fred’s involvement in the local community dates back to Springfield’s early days, where is was instrumental in establishing tennis in the area.

The Casaquite Brothers  - Justin, John and James Casaquite have all forged impressive basketball careers in their own right. The eldest, Justin has represented Springfield basketball as a high-scoring point guard for many years at both a club and representative level. John, the middle Casaquite brother, has used basketball as platform to represent Springfield for years – both on and off the court – and continues to be involved with the Springfield Brumbies. The youngest brother, James has won gold at the Queensland U16 State Championships and has been part of the Queensland State Development Team.

Find out more about local Springfield sporting clubs at the Festival of Fun, the Silver Jubilee official opening.