Family, friends pay tribute to Gladstone's Mr Basketball
KEVIN Broome put his heart and soul into basketball in Gladstone.
He's the reason Gladstone Amateur Basketball Association president Barry Maluga is still involved in the sport.
Mr Maluga said his friend never gave up on his vision to build a stadium on Side St.
Mr Broome passed away on Saturday at 10.20pm in Brisbane, surrounded by his family.
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The 72-year-old leaves behind three daughters - Suzanne, Jennifer, Angela - and his wife Judith.
Mr Maluga said his friend got plans drawn up and funding to build the stadium.
"Year after year the funding was knocked back. It just wasn't available," Mr Maluga said.
"We couldn't afford to build it ourselves so he kept chasing it from state and federal governments."
He was finally successful, with the Kev Broome Stadium opening in 1984.
It was his persistence Mr Maluga admired most about him.
"He had that demeanour. He just chipped away at things," he said.
"Kev Broome was instrumental in basketball. He is the reason I am still involved in basketball after 39 and a half years."
Mr Broome will be remembered as a caring man who Jennifer Rowland was proud to call her dad.
"He was a great patriarch of the family and he always had great advice," Mrs Rowland said.
"My dad was a very funny man. He was always full of cheek."
He was born in Emerald on July 10, 1942. He married Judith in 1966 and became a father soon after.
He went to high school in Rockhampton.
"He was a great dad. He used to take us to gymnastics competitions around the state," Mrs Rowland said.
"He also loved to fish. He tried to teach his daughters how to fish."
Mr Broome built a holiday home for his family at Zilzie with his brother-in-law.
Mrs Rowland said her dad - who was a grandfather to nine grandchildren - loved everything about basketball.
"He used to coach mine and my sisters' teams," she said. "He was only five foot seven (170cm). He got around low under the tall guys. That was his secret."
Between being a father and spending time at the basketball courts, Mr Broome worked at Telecom for 37 years.
He retired 18 years ago and enjoyed the simpler things in life, although he was sick.
"He was a lay preacher and elder at the Uniting Church in Gladstone," Mrs Rowland said.
Mr Broome died from leukaemia complications but, like his basketball dream, he didn't throw the towel in when it got tough.
"Doctors told him he only had a week to live but he survived two more years," Mrs Rowland said.
"That was my dad. He was a fighter."