Willa Hyttenrauch was a distinguished multisport athlete best known for her success on the basketball court. Most significantly, she was an important member of the Windsor Alumnae, one of Canada’s great basketball teams of the 1930s.
Hyttenrauch was born in Windsor on September 28, 1913.
She attended Kennedy Collegiate, where she developed a reputation as a fine athlete. Hyttenrauch led Kennedy to back-to-back-to-back Senior Girls Basketball titles from 1931-1933. She also starred in track and field, where she won local various high school Senior Girls titles for three consecutive years. In 1931, Hyttenrauch was named the WSSA Senior Individual Champion after winning gold medals in broad jump and high jump. At the following year’s meet, she repeated her broad jump gold and took bronze in the high jump.
Hyttenrauch also played baseball at a high level, splitting her time on the diamond between catcher, infielder, and outfielder. She hit with both consistency and power for the Windsor Silverwoods, which won the Ontario Softball Championship in 1936.
Remembered as a highly motivated and inspirational player, Hyttenrauch achieved her greatest success in basketball. She was the top scorer for the Windsor Alumnae, which dominated Eastern Canadian women’s basketball for the better part of a decade in the 1930s. Hyttenrauch and the Alumnae won Ontario and Eastern Canadian titles in 1932, ’34, ’35, and ’36. In April of 1935, the team contested the Canadian Finals, where Hyttenrauch led all scorers with 37 points. Unfortunately, the Alumnae dropped the three-game national title series to the legendary and powerful Edmonton Grads. The Alumnae also lost to the Edmonton Grads in the 1932, ’34, and ’36 Canadian Finals.
The Windsor Star named Hyttenrauch one of the country’s greatest female athletes of her era.
She passed away on December 9, 1985.