From Friendship Methodist primary to Adelphi University
June Marcia Griffith was born to be a star
After dominating the local schools Athletic Championships June Marcia Griffith (Collison) was selected for her first Regional meet the (1973) Junior Carifta Games in Trinidad and Tobago.
Although her performance was not spectacular the former Friendship Methodist standout returned to the land of the Majestic Kaieteur Falls with a Bronze Medal. The following year 1974 Guyana withdrew from the Carifta Games in Jamaica because of a lack of funds. Her disappointment of missing the 1974 games was short lived as Guyana returned to the Carifta scene in 1975 in Hamilton Bermuda and June Griffith gave the land of many waters her second Carifta games Gold Medal winning the high jump event emulating Gladstone Hopkinson who won Gold at the 1972 Games in Barbados.
Her Carifta dominance continued the following Year 1976, this time in the Bahamas she triumphed again in the high jump winning Gold and was runner up in the long jump taking the Silver.
Her winning ways on the International scene continued when she won the Gold medal at the Texaco games in Trinidad. June triumph in the broad jump event with a leap of 19 feet 8 ½ inches, Jamaican R. Montague won the Silver while Trinidadian V. Andrews had to settle for the bronze Medal.
Her Carifta Gold and Silver and the Texaco Gold medal along with her dominance on the local scene was enough to make June the sportswoman of the Year 1976. Bouyed by her 1976 performance, June Marcia Griffith was unstoppable at the 1977 Texaco International meet in Trinidad. She deplaned at Timehri International with three Gold medals and one Silver and again was voted Sportswoman of the year.
The next year 1978 June was selected to represent Guyana at the Commonwealth games in Edmonton, Canada. She placed fifth in the 400 metres finals but won Bronze in the broad jump event.
Her performance at the games was overshadowed by the Silver medal won by James Wren Gilkes and Winfield Braithwaite Gold Medal, but the Best was yet to come in 1979 at the Pan Am Games in Puerto Rico June ran the Best Race of her International career.
In the 400 Meters finals both she and American Sharon Dabney Clocked 51:81 secs and appeared to crossed the finish line together, to June’s disappointment the American was declared the winner in one of the Pan Am Games best 400 metres finals.
Injuries denied June Griffith the chance to avenge the 1979 Pan Am games defeat to American Sharon Dabney, she had to withdraw from the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, strange enough the United States also boycotted the 1980 Olympic Games. Her only International engagement in (1981) was the world student games in Rome from September 4-8, June was part of the American Team.
Havana Cuba hosted the (1982) Central American and Caribbean Games and June Griffith silenced Castro and company by capturing the Gold Medal in the 400 metres final with a time at 51:09 secs. She failed to reproduced the same form at the Commonwealth Games a few months later in Australia.
Helsinki Finland was her next overseas assignment in 1983 for the World Athletic Championship. Although she failed to Medal, the Golden Arrow Head was proudly represented. With little time to prepare for Guyana’s next overseas meet, fatigue got the better of June at 1983 Pan Am Games in Venezuela.
As a result the 1979 Silver Medalist deplaned at Timehri empty handed. June’s last International meet for the land of the Mighty Kaieteur Falls was at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
International Career: 14 Gold Medals, 3 Silver, 1 Bronze.
1972 Inter Guiana Games Suriname
1973 Carifta Games Trinidad
1975 Carifta Games Bermuda
1976 Carifta Games Bahamas
Texaco Games Trinidad
1977 Texaco Games Trinidad
1978 Commonwealth Games
1979 Pan Am Games Puerto Rico
1981 World Student Games Rome Italy
1982 Central American and Caribbean Games Havana Cuba
Commonwealth Games Australia
1983 World Athletics Championship Helsinki Finland
Pan Am Games Venezuela
1984 Olympic Games Los Angeles
She broke the World 400 Metres record 1979 clipping 2 seconds from the established time the record was 54:02 seconds
With credentials like the above mention it’s no surprise that June’s son Darren Collison’s performance in the National Basketball Association is second to none.