SAVED FROM SHAQTIN’ By Arthur George-Special to BASN JaVale McGee is reclaiming...
Cammi Granato grew up in Downers Grove, Ill. about 20 miles west of Chicago with two older brothers. Michelle never had a chance as a girl because they threw her on the ice with the boys and said go Cammi.
Granato’s parents were devoted Chicago Blackhawk fans, so they must be happy that Chicago won the Cup this year. Granato played on the boy’s hockey teams at five years old until her late teen years.
She went on to earn a degree at Providence University and played for their Women’s team in 1990-91. She wore the Team USA jersey as captain in 1998, also she was the player of the year for three seasons in the ECAC.
Granato scored the first goal against China as the Americans won the gold medal in Japan. They also won a silver medal in the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.
Michelle played for the Concordia University Stingers in Canada helping them win three Quebec Titles. She was invited to the New York Islander training camp in 1997, but did not follow through because of her fear of injury.
QUEEN JAMES In 1990, Goal Sister Angela James wore a hot pink and white uniform at the first World Championships. James was the Black female hockey star of the 70′s before anybody even thought about female hockey stars.
The Canadian women did not care what color the uniform they just wanted to play and win. James then took it in stride when she was left off the 1998 Canadian Olympic Team.
The team coaches and managers claimed that she was too old and too slow to play, maybe there were other issues because she continued to play for other teams.
James was center for the Canadian Team and a 12-time medalist and four-time world champion. She scored over 30 goals in International Championships.
She also led the Central Ontario Women’s League to eight scoring titles and dominated the All Star Game every year earning the name, the female Wayne Gretzky.
She also has the record for the first female to play every position in the rink including goalie. James is a Bold Goal Sister – the first Black Canadian female to guide her team to a championship.
Granato, James, and Canadian defenseman Geraldine Heaney were the first women to enter the International Ice Hockey Hall of Fame. Granato was also the first female player inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
A GLARING OMISSION??
This raises many other questions, like where is the female goalie Manon Rheaume of the Tampa Bay Lightning and when will she be inducted into the hallowed Hockey Hall of Fame?
Rheaume played for eight other minor league teams before ending her career on the west coast in 2008. She the played Little Caesars Seniors A Hockey, minor league team. Her professional career ended in 1998 with the Canadian Olympic Team.
Two other great Canadian female hockey stars should be considered for the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Cassie Campbell with the Canadian National Women’s team she is the longest serving captain for the Maple Leaf team 2000-2006 and the only Captain to lead two teams to gold medals.
She started out as a defenseman before moving to forward in 1999. Cassie became a productive scorer with 32 goals and 68 assists (100 points) the last three years of her career.
Campbell is the first female hockey broadcaster for the (CBC) Canadian Broadcasting Company, and currently works with the TSN Canadian network women’s hockey broadcast and is a color commentator with the Calgary Flames.
Last but not least is Hayley Wickenheiser who played forward for Club Avant in Canada. Played on the Gold medal team in Vancouver this past winter and has played on 4 different Olympic teams.
She’s also garnered four gold medals in the World Hockey Championships. SI voted her number 20th toughest female athlete in the world. Man, who the other 19 females.
She has the most Olympic and World medals of any female Canadian athlete.
Ms. Wickenheiser is the first female to ever score a point on a male hockey team in Finland and has played on another team in Sweden before returning to North America.
Hayley has also mastered the sport of softball and played in the 2000 Olympic games and now is a broadcaster/analyst for CBC. The passion for sports has never faded, she now works with young adults teaching the strategies hockey and softball.
The future looks bright for these three athletic women to enter the Hockey Hall of Fame joining Michele “Cammi” Granato and Goal Sister Angela James.