(WINDSOR, ON) – In 1936, in the midst of the Great Depression, and with the world slowly inching toward war, a group of 14 Windsorites embarked on a journey never before or since replicated. The Ford V8’s, Windsor’s entry in the Canadian Basketball Championships, became our unlikely ambassadors.
The Ford V8’s progressed through the 1933-34 season and as far as the eastern Canada semi-finals. The next year, the team won the Ontario Championship as well as the eastern semi’s before losing to the Victoria Blue Ribbons in the finals. The 1935-36 season was to be their year.
The V8’s won the Canadian Championships in 1936 by defeating the Victoria Dominoes in three straight games. With the victory, the V8’s won the right to represent Canada at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
The Canadian squad, made up with a core of players from the Ford V8’s landed in the heart of Nazi Germany to take on the world. It was a hard fought tournament for the team, which would be inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame in 1981. But through perseverance they made their way to the podium to receive the silver medal, presented by none other than James Naismith, after losing to the US in the gold medal game.
In honour of the Ford V8’s, and in recognition of their accomplishment that has never been repeated, the Windsor Express will wear a special uniform in their memory. The Express will tip off against the Brampton A’s at 7:30 pm this evening, in the presence of Ford V8 family members. Memorabilia will be on display in the arena concourse, and the game-worn jerseys will be auctioned after the game.