Basketball Victoria would like to extend its condolences to the Maffra Amateur Basketball Association community following the passing of Yvonne Higgins.
Higgins, or ‘Higg’ as she was lovingly known by many people throughout country basketball, was a tireless advocate of our sport. She was involved in basketball for nearly 50 years in every role imaginable – starting at 14 years old as a player before becoming a referee, coach, committee member, mentor and association president for 35 years.
In a fitting honour in the community she helped to grow, the Wellington Shire Council voted to rename the Cameron Sporting Complex showcourt to the Yvonne Higgins Showcourt, with Yvonne attending a ceremony to celebrate the unveiling a few days before her passing.
The showcourt is part of an expansion at the venue which Yvonne ensured would happen, helping extend the stadium to a three-court facility to give future Eagles greater access to the sport she loved the most.
As a player, she represented Maffra at Country Championships and Country Week, winning various state titles in different divisions with what many would say was a picture perfect jump shot.
She was a referee at many Country Championships, often getting medal games, as well as all local tournaments. Many Maffra domestic and representative teams will fondly remember Higg as their coach throughout her time with the club, including children of athletes she had previously coached.
She was above all the proudest and loudest supporter of all Eagles’ teams – with Country Championships teams, VJBL teams and Country Basketball League teams always seeing her courtside to cheer them on.
In one of the last basketball games she was able to attend, Yvonne was on hand to celebrate Maffra’s CBL Gippsland Men’s championship victory last month on their home court as she savoured every moment of the thrilling triumph.
Maffra Basketball Association vice president James Whelan said Yvonne will be deeply missed with her energy, joy and passion for basketball making her a beacon for all who played at the association.
“Higg will be remembered by thousands of people as a fun loving, deeply dedicated and lover of all things Maffra Basketball,” Whelan said. “We have been so lucky to have a leader that has shown such passion, commitment and loyalty to our club and the greater Maffra community.
“She has helped nurture a passion for basketball through generations of Maffra people and has left our small community association in a position to thrive well into the future.
“Her legacy will live on in the memories of the countless people that Higg has had a profound impact on throughout her life.
“We are forever grateful for everything she has done.”
The funeral service to celebrate Yvonne Higgins’ life will be held at the Yvonne Higgins Showcourt in the Cameron Sporting Complex, Maffra on Tuesday 30 March commencing at noon. At the conclusion of the service the cortege will leave for the Maffra Lawn Cemetery.