James Naismith



James Naismith invented basketball to keep his young students out of trouble.

James Naismith of Almonte, Ontario, succeeded in his aim of creating a sport for everyone, a game that stresses skill over strength, speed over power. Today basketball is played by men, women and children all over the world. Dr. Naismith’s invention has become the most popular game in the world.


James Naismith himself called them “the finest basketball team that ever stepped out on a floor.” When the Edmonton Grads walked onto the basketball court between the years 1915 and 1940, it was not a good time to be a fan of their opposition on the day. What began as a women's high-school team was to become a sporting dynasty whose winning record remains unparalleled by any team in any sport since. In their 25 year history, the Grads played 522 official games in Canada, the United States and Europe, and recorded a record of 502 wins and 20 loses (some of which came in exhibition games against men's teams).


Anyone lucky enough to see a game witnessed a glorious moment in sports and sportsmanship. In a world that glorified male athletes, the Grads were recognized for their sheer excellence.


They are Footprints on the court of Canadian sport.