Edmonton Commercial Grads Basketball Teams 1915-1940

Edmonton Commercial Grads Basketball Teams 1915-1940

The amazing record of the Edmonton Grads spans an era of 25 years. Under the expert coaching of the late Percy Page, the Grads played 522 official games in Canada, the United States, and in Europe, winning 502 and losing 20 for an average of 96.2%. The Grads won seven of the nine games they played against men's teams. In establishing their outstanding record, they had two consecutive winning streaks of 147 and 78 games respectively. They won the Provincial Championship during their first year of existence in 1915, and continued to win 23 of the 24 times they competed for it. In the Western Canadian Championship, the Grads won all 21 games they played from 1926 to 1940. In the Canadian Championships they never lost a series, from commencement of title play in 1922 to the team's disbandment in 1940. They won 29 of 31 games played. In Canadian - American competition, the Grads won the Underwood International Trophy every year from inception of the series in 1923 to 1940, when they were presented with the trophy permanently. The Grads attended four Olympics, although women's basketball was not officially an Olympic sport, and won all 27 of their exhibition games. They were crowned World Champions from 1937 to 1940.


Bailey, Marguerite*  
Bawden, Betty*
Belanger, Babe*
Bennie, Elsie*  
Brown, Mae*  
Brown, Sophie*
Caulson, Evelyn*  
Daniel, Babe*  
Dann, Etta*
Dunn, Mary*

Elrick, Elizabeth*
Fry, Gladys*
Gallen, Winnie*

Gordon, Frances*
Hopkins, Hattie*
Innis, Jessie*  
Johnson, Daisy*  
Johnson, Dot*

Jonston, Joan*  
Kinney, Margaret*

MacBurney, Margaret*

MacDonald, Noel*
Macrae, Kate*  
MacRitchie, Kay

McCormack, Mildred*

McIntosh, Helen*

Mountifield, Eleanor*

Martin, Winnie*
Munton, Mabel*  
Neale, Doris*
Northup, Helen*
Page, J. Percy* (C)
Perry, Nellie*
Ross, Betty*  
Scott, Abbie*  
Smith, Connie*
Stone, Edith*  
Stone, Helen*  
Williamson, Jean*

The Edmonton Grads basketball players retired from active competition in 1940.  In the early years, some of the members did some coaching.  Most went on to participate in events in schools, universities, and colleges talking to the athletes, and participating in presenting trophies, medals and ribbons.  They volunteered their time at many sporting events and for many other organizations and groups.

The team members often organized and arranged “Grad Reunions”.  They also took part in radio broadcasts and television programs.  The National Film Board of Canada made a film in 1987 titled “Shooting Stars:  The Amazing Story of the Edmonton Grads.”

The Edmonton Grads received many honours over the years.  They were inducted into the Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame in 1973 and the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980.  The Grads still have the record for best winning percentage of all time for North American teams.  In 1976, the Edmonton Grads’ achievements were declared a National Historic Event and Parks Canada dedicated a plaque in their honour, two years later, in 1978. The Edmonton Grads Youth Basketball Association was founded in 2002, in Edmonton, to honour the legacy of the famous women's basketball team.

Timeline

1950 - The Grads were named the country's outstanding basketball team (of either gender) of the half-century.

1971 - Noel MacDonald was elected to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.  In 1938 she won the Velma Springstead Award as Canada's outstanding female athlete.

2011 - Book published about the Grads - "The Grads are Playing Tonight" by M. Ann Hall

2012 – Kay MacBeth is the last remaining living Grad.  She received the QEII Diamond Jubilee Award in July.

2017 - March - The CBC featured the team in one of their Heritage Minutes segments.

2017 - November 9 - The team is inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in a ceremony held in Toronto.  Kay (MacBeth) McRitchie was in attendance at the ceremony accepting on the Grad's behalf.

Updates:  2012, 2016, 2017

Individual recognition, honours and achievements include:

Noel MacDonald was named Canada’s female athlete of the year in 1938 (Velma Springstead Award/ Bobbie Rosenfeld Award) and was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1971.

Coach Percy Page was inducted as a builder into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame.  He was the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta from 1959-1966.

Kay MacBeth – received the QEII Diamond Jubilee Award in July 2012.  Kay is/was the last remaining living Grad. The CBC featured a profile on her and the Edmonton Grads as a part of the Canada 150 celebrations. On November 9, 2017 she was in attendance and accepted for the team's induction into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.



Pictured:  Canada's Sports Hall of Fame 2017 Inductees:

Mike Weir, Johannah Jackson (daughter of the late Dr. Robert W. Jackson), Lanny McDonald,

Edmonton Grads player/ representative Kay MacRitchie MacBeth (in wheelchair),

Gaylene Powless (daughter of the late Gaylord Powless), Dr. Charles Tator, Simon Whitfield,

Cindy Klassen and Bob Rooney (Chair of the Board of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame)

Not pictured here: Carol Huynh