“The Edmonton Grads”, sound looks great! Really want to know about the famous Basketball team of Canada. In this article, You will know very interesting facts about “The Edmonton Grads”. Read this complete article and enjoy!
The Edmonton Grads were known for the first women’s basketball team in Alberta, Canada.
Beginning Story Of The Edmonton Grads
The Edmonton Grads was a Candian Basketball team which was founded by a sports coach Jhon Percy Page know as Page. The team is named on their City Edmonton, Alberta in Canada. The team was founded in 1912 when Page started to teach in McDougall School. After a time, the school Principal wanted to organize a sports contest in the school. For this purpose, he asked Page to prepare a boy’s basketball team.
But Page did not accept it. He decided to coach girl’s team, McDougall. He selected the girls and started training them. There was no big playground in McDougall School. So Page continued to practice in the outdoor playgrounds. Page continued to practice with his team day and night during the freezing winter (From September to June). The McDougall’s basketball team won fame for the first time in 1914 when they won a competitive match in the Local High School Tournament.
Early Championship of Grads
McDougall’s girls continued their study and after graduation in 1915, they decided to continue playing basketball and they were known as the Commercial Graduates commonly as “The Grads”. Page continued to coach the Grads for many years and his efforts brought the fruit that in 1915, The Grads won a tournament at the provincial level and became the basketball Champions of Alberta.
Page challenged all teams of Alberta to defeat the Grads but no one could succeed in winning the champion trophy from Grads. They remained the Champion of Alberta for many years. But in 1919, The team of the University of Alberta succeeded in gaining a Trophy from Grads. But after few months Grads again challenged the team of the University and regained the Champion Trophy. In this way, Grads became the pride of Percy Page.
John Percy Page’s motto/words for The Grads was:
“YOU MUST PLAY BASKETBALL, THINK BASKETBALL, AND DREAM ABOUT BASKETBALL”
These words show the love of Page’s love for basketball. In the April of 1919, a match has held between the team of the University of Alberta, Varisty, and The Edmonton Grads. The Varsity team has succeeded in gaining the champion trophy from Grads. Then in November of 1919 Grads again rechallenged the Varsity team, regained their trophy, and again became the champions of Alberta.
Another great achievement for the Page was that The Grads won their first American Underwood Trophy. In this match, Grads competed with Cleveland’s Favorite-Knits. The Grad won that match only with two scores and became pride for Page. This was their first achievement at the foreign level.
Grads maintained their champion status for years and then they started to participate in the Olympic games. Then Grads gained a lot of fame and popularity in most of the European countries. Then they have invited to Paris to participate in the Summer Olympic Games. Even in Paris, The Grads maintained its prestige there.
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They also took part in Roubaix, Strasbourg, and Lille Tournaments and maintained the prestige of the page, and lived up to its expectations. Page and his team then traveled from Paris to Europe on holidays, and a few days later Page and two of her students attended a meeting of the International Women’s Sports Federation (IWSP) in Paris.
The Edmonton Grads Back To Home
Page and The Grads returned to Canada with congratulations from all over the country. Along with the congratulations, the people of Canada also helped The Grads with financial support. Then Page changed their Grad’s practice ground to Edmonton Arena, which was very large than even a playground.
The Grads were very excited to return back to Europe and take part in the Women’s World Games. But Unfortunately, basketball was not including in the Women’s World Games.
This made them Grads so disappointed. But Page advocates for Grads to Include the Basketball in Summer Olympics. Canadian Olympics Committee also advocated to add Basketball to the International Olympic Games, but that request was denied. However, the Federation Sportive Feminine accepted to organize a European women’s basketball tour with the co-operation of the Olympics.
The Grads were also inviting to Netherland to defend their world title. Then Grads played almost 10 matches in Europe and become the pride Page in all matches. The Grads finished their Europen tour by winning the French Basketball Champion Trophy. The Grads almost won the 24 Olympic Championships in the World.
Disbandment of Grads
In the year 1940, RCAF (Royal Canadian Air-Force took the control of Edmonton Arena for military purposes during the Wartimes. The Grads were deprived of their playground in which Page practiced his team to play against international teams of Women Basketball. Due to Word War 2, the basketball tournaments between the Canadian and European basketball teams were stopped. Therefore Edmonton Grads stop playing basketball. This was a great loss for Page and The Edmonton Grads.
The Grads played their last game and won their Championship in 1940. The Inventor and Founder of Basketball Dr.James Naismith called the Grads the ” best basketball team that ever stepped out in playground”
John Percy Page After Disbandment
Page said to his Grads to play, think and dream basketball. Along with basketball practice, Page also gave rise to Sportsmanship in Grads. He always advised his team to play clean and win clean. He always forbade his Grads from smoking and drinking (beers, vines, etc).
Therefore Grads described their Percy Page as:
“A Nice Man and a Wonderful Gentlemen”
After 1940, when The Grads were disbanding, Page was subsequently electing to Alberta Legislature. He remained a political character for almost 19 years. In 1959 at the age of 72 Page became the Lieutenant-Governer of Alberta. He remained Lieutenant for Almost 7 years. Then due to a lungs infection i.e, Pneumonia Jhon Percy Page died in 1973.