Women’s hockey has hit its stride in the last several years, and nobody has been more influential in that process than Cammi Granato. Granato’s star began to rise in her last three years of college at Providence where she was the Eastern College Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 1991, ’92 and ’93.
Granato grew up in Downers Grove, Illinois, where she yearned to play organized hockey in a town that had no girls’ league. Naturally, that wouldn’t stop Granato from her dream as she soon joined the Downers Grove Huskies, a boys’ team that she played on from kindergarten until her junior year of high school.
Granato’s experience and play on the boys’ team earned her a scholarship at Providence that would lead to her prominence for the Friars. Granato’s 139 goals and 256 points at Providence were school records.
Just a few years after graduating from Providence, Granato became the face of women’s hockey as she was named the first-ever captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team. In 1998, Granato’s four Olympic goals helped the U.S. squad win the gold medal at the Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. Granato wasn’t done making headlines in Japan as she also carried the flag for the U.S. Olympic Team at the closing ceremonies.
After helping the U.S. women’s hockey team bring home the gold in ’98, Granato began making an impact off the ice. She served as radio color commentator for the Los Angeles Kings, becoming just the second female broadcaster in NHL history. In 1999, she started the Golden Dreams for Children Foundation, which was organized to provide support for children with special needs. She also started the Cammi Granato Gold Medal Hockey Clinic for Girls, a three-day hockey camp for women of all ages and levels.
Granato, a member of the Women’s National Team from 1990-2006, helped the squad win the silver medal at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. She is also the all-time leading scorer in the history of women’s hockey.
Granato’s brother, Tony, played 14 seasons in the NHL and is currently an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Granato’s husband, Ray Ferraro, played 18 seasons in the NHL and is currently a broadcaster. The couple married in 2004 and both served as in-studio analysts for NBC’s hockey coverage of the 2006 Winter Olympics.
Granato is a recipient of the Lester Patrick Award (2007). She was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 2006, the International Hockey Hall of Fame (2008), the US Hockey Hall of Fame (2008), and the Hockey Hall of Fame (2010).