Steph Talbot is not one to big-note herself, but her achievement deserves recognition.
Talbot and the Opals dominated the Commonwealth Games women’s basketball competition, almost doubling England’s score as they won the grand final. Talbot played a key role, filling the stat sheet with nine points, five assists, four rebounds, two blocks and a steal in 18 minutes of playing time. It was an impressive progression from her Olympics debut in 2016, when she was used sparingly.
The Opals’ emphatic win showed they will be back in contention for an elusive Olympic gold sooner rather than later, and Talbot’s performance ensured she will be a key player.
A couple of decades ago, Yorke Valley Basketball Association developed a high-performance program for the first time. Players such as Katie Orr (nee Langford), Emma Langford, Kelsey Ireland and Bree Farley excelled, paving the way for Talbot. Their achievements inspired a generation of talented locals who have now grown up under high-performance coaching led by Kadina’s Trudy Ireland.
Nowadays, YP basketballers fill South Australian underage teams as our area punches well above its weight on a national level. This applied further pressure for a stadium upgrade.
Talbot grew up playing basketball outside on asphalt courts, something most of her international basketball contemporaries couldn’t imagine. Only a few years later locals have four indoor courts with proper floorboards. The snowball effect should mean more kids playing basketball, and more finding success at higher levels.
This didn’t all start with Talbot, but no local has gone further.
Suggestions to honour her contribution could include a large photo in the CCSLC, or the “Steph Talbot Show Court” rolls off the tongue nicely.
The redevelopment will be finished within a couple of months, and this could be the perfect finishing touch.
Nick Perry, Editor