Edmonton Grads basketball team featured in Google Doodle

A legendary Edmonton basketball team was honoured by Google on Saturday.

The Edmonton Grads, known as Canada’s most successful team in history, were depicted in the day’s Google Doodle, when the search engine’s home page features artwork to celebrate people, anniversaries or events.

A wildly successful women’s basketball team founded in 1915, the Grads won 17 world titles, along with national and continental championships.

The Grads won about 95 per cent of their hundreds of games, an astonishing success rate for any team in any sport.

The team folded in the 1940s because of the Second World War and low game attendance.

Kay MacBeth played for the Edmonton Grads, which was described as the ‘finest basketball team that ever stepped out on a floor,’ by James Naismith, the Canadian who invented the game. (Havard Gould/CBC)

Kay MacBeth, the last surviving member of the famous team, died in 2018 at the age of 96. She lived in Toronto.

The five-foot-four MacBeth played what was then called a left light point guard. In an interview with The Canadian Press, she described herself as “fast and a good playmaker and not a ball hog.

“Any time the ball was in our hands, I pretty much started it,” she said.

Google chose Saturday to honour the Grads because it’s the anniversary of the team’s 2017 induction into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. 

Kay MacBeth, back row, top right, is seen in this photograph of the 1940 Edmonton Grads in their final season. (Athabasca University)

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