Over the next couple of days Canada will be hosting their first NBA All-Star Weekend. The city is ‘lit’, as they say – Celebs are en route, Drake is blanketing Toronto with ads for his upcoming album and Nike has taken over a streetcar and converted into a sneaker shop. The Six is in full basketball hype mode.
But before all of this, before LeBron, before MJ and even before the NBA itself, there was the Edmonton Commercial Grads.
Their formal name was The Commercial Graduates Basketball Club and they were coached by John Percy Page (the 8th Lieutenant General of Alberta). They began as a high-school team based at McDougall Commercial High School in Edmonton but went on to compete for Canada on an international level.
From 1915-1940, the Grads dominated women’s basketball. By the time the team disbanded, their winning percentage was 93% and they won 49 out of a possible 51 domestic championships. Part of that success included taking home the first women’s world title in 1924. To this day the Grads continue to hold the North American record for the sports team with the best winning percentage of all time.
The inventor of basketball, Canadian, Dr. James Naismith, famously referred to squad as “the finest basketball team that ever stepped out on a floor.”
Edmonton Grads, you the real All Stars.