The Edmonton Grads should be considered one of the greatest of all teams in Canadian sports history. The final totals might well be locked away in some dusty files somewhere, but the accepted career totals read 502 wins and 20 losses. The pinnacle might have been reached in 1938, behind captain and centre Noel MacDonald, the team’s career leading scorer, who averaged 15.7 points a game. The jump ball after every basket had been abandoned in 1938, and that instant possession suited the Grads’ fast-break style perfectly. With MacDonald and her superb passing skills leading the way, the Grads again won the Underwood International Series by defeating Chicago and then successfully defended challenges against Cleveland, Canton and Wichita. Four times they went to the Olympic Games when women’s basketball was a demonstration sport, and they won all 27 games they played there.

Dave Perkins

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