World’s best sports team ever?
With the recent hoopla over the Toronto Raptor’s NBA win, one should not forget the start of the what is possibly the world’s best basketball team, and perhaps the winningest team in sports history period.
It was an all Canadian, all women’s team.
It began on this date when girls at Edmonton’s McDougall Commercial High School formed a team, and began an incredible winning streak that stretched over 25 years.
After winning local and provincial high school games, the team continued as the Edmonton Commercial Graduates or “the Grads”.
The team won the Canadian championship in 1922, and the NEXT year beat an American team –wearing “world champs” on their shorts, to take the Underwood Trophy which they held on to for 17 years until the team finally folded in 1940.
The Grads also represented Canada at four Olympics and won all 27 of their matches. Although declared World Champions, there would be no medals as women’s basketball was not an official Olympic sport at the time.
The Grads record is 502 wins, to 20 losses for an unparalleled lifetime average of over 96 per cent
The Canadian who invented the sport of basketball was also impressed and wrote to the team in 1936 saying “”You are not only an inspiration to basketball players throughout the world, but a model of all girls’ teams. Your attitude and success have been a source of gratification to me in illustrating the possibilities of the game in the development of the highest type of womanhood.”
The team was disbanded in 1940 as war needs prevailed including the required use of their practice gym.
- Alberta Sports Hall of Fame: Edmonton Grads
- Canada Sports Hall of Fame- Edmonton Grads- inducted 2017
- History of Sport: Z Langlois: Apr 11/13: documentary “Shooting Stars” (with links to Youtube documentary)
- U Alberta Folio: Jan 2012: Edmonton Grads brought to life
- Edmonton Journal: Aug 18/12: 1928 Grads repeat as World Champions