Hall of Famer
Inducted in 2017
The Commercial Graduates Basketball Club was the formal name of the Edmonton Grads team, coached by Percy Page, based at McDougall Commercial High School in Edmonton. Beginning as a women’s high-school team, the Grads ruled women's basketball from 1915 to 1940, winning an average of 95% of their matches. Only seven teams were able to score 50 or more points against them in a single game, and they never lost a series in the Underwood International Championships, winning 23 times.
In 1924, the Fédération Sportive Feminine Internationale declared the Grads World Champions. They also won all 27 Olympic Games matches they competed in during the 1920s and 1930s. The inclusion of basketball in the Olympic Games occurred for men in 1936, but not for women until forty years later in 1976.
At the time of their retirement, the Grads held local, provincial, western, national, international, and world level titles, becoming a sporting dynasty whose winning record remains unparalleled by any team in any sport, male or female. Truly champions, the Grad’s success can be attributed to natural ability, strong leadership, dedication, fair play, and determination.
During the Grads' 25-year career, there were 38 official players who competed. The Grads' sporting success was accompanied by the respect they earned in Canada and abroad and consequently silenced the critics who claimed that strenuous activity could be harmful to women. Perhaps the finest compliment came from the inventor of basketball, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame Honoured Member, Dr. James Naismith, who called them "the finest basketball team that ever stepped out on a floor."