When Talia, Kiki and Aly Taufaasau were kids, they shared a joke with their dad that they had microscopic basketballs floating in their blood.
“Basketball has been in my daily life since forever,” Kiki said. “It’s just always been like, ‘We’re all going to play basketball.’ I just knew like, from seventh-grade high school basketball, I’m so excited for high school basketball. It’s always been basketball.”
The name “Taufaasau” is becoming synonymous with Canyon High School basketball. Talia graduated last year and currently plays for Ventura College; Kiki is a sophomore in her second year of varsity; and Aly is in eighth grade and plans to play for Canyon next season.
Their dad, Tim, first started coaching basketball in 1992, and is currently an assistant coach with the Cowboys.
The three sisters were always at their dad’s high school basketball practices running drills, watching film and riding on buses with the players. The early exposure to the sport helped all three of them develop their skills early.
The environment at home was competitive. They competed not just when it came to basketball, but in mundane everyday happenings. Whoever could get to the car before going somewhere was the winner. Whoever could hold their hand underneath a hot faucet the longest was the best.
“And I didn’t help,” Tim said. “‘Hey, she beat you to it. You snooze you lose,’ that’s what my kids have grown up with. They go to the refrigerator, ‘Where’d my sandwich go?’ You snooze you lose.”
Talia was a point guard for the varsity team for four years and reached the CIF-Southern Section Division 1AA finals in 2017, where the Cowboys lost to Valencia.
She was the All-Foothill League and All-SCV Player of the Year her senior year. Kiki secured a starting position as a forward/shooting guard last season and was named an All-SCV player.
When Aly, a point guard, begins to play for Canyon, the bar will be raised even higher, but the passion to cement the Taufaasau name is already there and has been for some time. She can remember watching Canyon and Valencia compete for the league title in the 2016-17 season.
“I remember I was in the front and I remember it being close and I saw Canyon play and I was like, dang, they’re really good. I was just excited to get here,” Aly said.
The trio of Taufaasau’s hard work, along with their dad’s, has been paying off for the Cowboys. The three won’t rest, though, until their family’s name is well-known in the prep basketball community.
“I want them to think of us as like, when my little sister gets here, as like, the basketball sisters,” Kiki said. “They made a mark on Canyon. My sister’s name is on the wall, her picture is in the office, I want that. I want that for me and I want that for her and I want people to be like, ‘Oh, Taufaasau, I know them. They dominated in high school on the court.’ That’s the goal.”