In this Heritage Minute, The Edmonton Commercial Graduates Basketball Club, “The Grads,” challenge self-proclaimed “world champions,” the Cleveland Favorite Knits, to a two game tournament in 1923.

After winning the championship 17 years in row, tournament organizations decided to permanently award the team the trophy. The team’s winning percentage (95% over 25 years) is unrivaled by most sports teams. From the team’s formation in 1914 until it’s disbanding in 1940, off-court, The Grads defeated societal stereotypes about the inappropriateness of women participating in competitive sports.

Sources: Historica Canada, Wikipedia, Canadian Encyclopedia, Google Doodle

From Edmonton to Berlin with the Edmonton Grads

The Grads went undefeated in 27 exhibition games at four Olympic Games, helping to pave the way to women’s basketball becoming included as an official Olympic sport.

A short film depicting the Edmonton Commercial Graduates Basketball Team on their 1936 trip to the Berlin Olympics. Included is footage of their voyage, excursions to France and Italy, and events at the 1936 Olympics featuring Adolf Hitler at the Olympic Stadium. Provincial Archives of Alberta, PR1970.0027/28


feature and other images: google doodle (and sketches) by Olivia When