Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Trailblazers of the Game

The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to present this special recognition to the
following groups that have added to the rich history of women's basketball


All American Red Heads

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The All American Red Heads played for 50 years from 1936-1986, which is still the longest running women’s professional team. 

The Red Heads were founded by Mr. & Mrs. C.M. Olson in Cassville, Missouri.

C.M. Olson was the former coach/owner of a male exhibition basketball team called Olson’s Terrible Swedes. Known for their on-court antics, this inspired C.M. Olson’s wife, Doyle, and the women who worked in her beauty salons to form a women’s professional exhibition team.

In 1954, Coach Orwell Moore and his wife Lorene “Butch” Moore bought the Red heads and moved the team to Caraway, Arkansas.

Lorene Moore played on the team for eleven years, scoring 35,426 points during her career.

The Red Heads were so popular that during the years 1964-1971 there may have been as many as three Red Head teams traveling the country.

In 1972, the Red Heads won 500 out of 642 games played against men’s team.

Throughout the years the All American Red Heads played in all 50 states as well as Mexico, Canada, and the Philippines.

The team has been featured in national magazines such as Life, Look, Sports Illustrated and Women’s Sports, and they were widely considered as the greatest women’s basketball team in the world.

Coach Moore retired and disbanded the Red Heads in 1986 after 50 years of play

The All American Red Heads still have annual reunions today.


The Edmonton Grads

The Edmonton Commercial Graduates Basketball Club was founded in 1915 by John Percy Page.

The origins of the Club can be traced to the McDougall Commercial Girls High School Basketball team in Edmonton, Canada. When team members graduated high school, they convinced coach John Percy Page to continue the team as a Club sport.

Membership with the Club was exclusive, only 38 women ever wore the Grad jersey. Winnie Martin (Tait) was the First Captain of the Edmonton Grads, playing from 1915-1924.

The Grads played 522 games officially in Canada, the United States and Europe. The Club tallied a 502-20 record in 25 years of play

The Edmonton Commercial Graduates are widely considered the greatest women’s team ever assembled. Financially restrained, members often chipped in to raise funds for national play. Their strong dedication to the game and will to persevere in a time when women’s basketball was largely ignored makes the Edmonton Grads praiseworthy

John Percy Page coached the club to 18 Canadian Championships

The Club attended four sets of Olympic Games: Paris in 1924, Amsterdam in 1928, Los Angeles in 1932, and Berlin in 1936 where they received 4 unofficial Olympic titles

The Club played its last game on June 5, 1940, defeating a Chicago team 62-52

Dr. James A. Naismith was quoted to say, “There is no team that I mention more frequently in talking about the game. My admiration is not only for your remarkable record of games won (which itself would make you stand out in the history of basketball) but also for your record of clean play, versatility in meeting teams at their own style, and more especially for your unbroken record of good sportsmanship.”

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The Former Helms/Citizens

Savings/Founders Bank

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Based in Los Angeles, the Helms Foundation was created in 1936 by Bill Schroeder and Paul Helms

The Helms Foundation was established to select national championship teams and All-American teams in a number of college sports, including women’s basketball

The Panel met annually to vote on a National Champion and retroactively ranked basketball back to 1901

When Paul Helms died in 1957, United Savings and Loan became the Helms Foundation’s benefactor and eventually became known as the Citizens Savings Athletic Foundation

The Foundation officially dissolved in 1982

13 Helms Foundation members are also Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Inductees: Alline Banks (Sprouse), Joan Crawford, Lyrlyne Greer, Rita Horkey, Doris Rogers, Margaret Sexton, Hazel Walker, Katherine Washington, Nera White, John Head, Claude Hutcherson, Harley Redin, and Lometa Odom


Wayland Baptist Flying Queens

1953-1958

Hutcherson, a Wayland graduate and owner of Hutcherson Air Service, provided air transportation for the Queens to games in Mexico in 1948. That encounter blossomed into a full sponsorship of the team in 1950, a change that brought with it a new mascot - the Hutcherson Flying Queens. Five decades later, Wayland is still atop the world of women's basketball for they still remain the only women's team in history to win 1,300 games.

Long before Connecticut became a dominant power in women’s basketball, the Flying Queens of Wayland Baptist thrived on innovation, talent and glamour, playing on athletic scholarships, traveling by private planes, warming up with ostentatious drills learned from the Harlem Globetrotters and winning every game for nearly five seasons. The Wayland Baptist University women’s team achieved a 131-game winning streak from November of 1953 to March of 1958 before losing 46-42 to Nashville Business School. During that time the Flying Queens captured four consecutive AAU national championships.

 

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