Angela James introduction to the game of hockey began in the early 70s, growing up in Flemingdon Park, a subsidized housing project on the outskirts of Toronto. James dominated at every level of competition, beginning in her childhood when she played street hockey with the boys in her north Toronto neighbourhood.
“I played ball hockey with the neighbourhood kids from morning until night,” James said. But at first, I was always the goalie because I was a girl.” James’ accomplishments both on and off the ice opened doors for women that were previously sealed. Playing street hockey with the boys in her neighbourhood, she instantly grew passionate about the game of stick and ball which transcended to ice hockey.
She is considered the first superstar of women’s hockey. As both a player and an advocate, she led the way for women’s hockey to be recognized locally, nationally and internationally. She represented Canada for seven years, winning seven World Championships and was a member of the women’s gold medal world championship team in 1990, 1992, 1994 and 1997. Her intensity made her one of Team Canada’s greatest clutch performers and she is among the first female players to ever be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the International Ice Hockey Hall of Fame.
In ball hockey, Angela started playing in the Toronto Women’s league with the Madames and later with the Toronto Dragons where she won four OBHA Provincial Championships. She quickly became one of the most talented and explosive forwards in the game of ball hockey. She was a primarily as a centerman who was an excellent playmaker who combined speed and agility with finesse and accurate marksmanship that created nothing but havoc for opposing teams.
She was indeed one of the premier practitioners in the history of ball hockey in Ontario who has earned his rightful place in the OBHA Players Hall of Fame in 2007.