Basketball fans on Vancouver Island will be thrilled to see the Toronto Raptors are bringing their annual training camp to the University of Victoria for Sept. 26 to 29.
The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday that head coach Dwane Casey and the team will hold training camp in at UVic’s new $70 million Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities (CARSA).
It’s the fourth consecutive year the Raptors will hold training camp in B.C. and fifth time in team history.
The Raptors will hold an open intra-squad game Thursday, Sept. 28. All other practice sessions will be closed to the public.
Tickets to the intra-squad game will be by-donation. How they’ll distributed will be managed between the Raptors and Vikes.
A detailed training camp schedule, along with information for the open practice will be released at a later date. The That includes semi-private coaching clinics for community basketball groups.
The Raptors’ four-day camp at UVic preceds to NBA preseason games in Hawaii against the L.A. Clippers on Oct. 1 and 2.
“It’s an honour to visit a different part of Canada and prepare for our season in the first-class facilities at the University of Victoria,” said Casey in the Raptors’ release. “We are extremely proud being Canada’s only NBA franchise. Our players and staff feel enthusiasm for basketball in every city we have visited. We don’t ever want to take that for granted.”
Clint Hamilton, Director of Vikes Athletics and Recreation at the University of Victoria, said CARSA was designed to invite this type of opportunity.
“This will be great for our community as we welcome Canada’s NBA team to UVic and our CARSA facility. We look forward to providing a high quality environment for the Raptors players and staff as they begin their journey towards a championship in the 2017-18 season.”
This will be the ninth time the Raptors have held a portion of camp outside the province of Ontario. In addition to Victoria, the team has trained in Vancouver (2010, 2014, 2015 and 2016), Halifax (2011 and 2012), Treviso and Rome, Italy and Madrid, Spain as part of NBA Europe Live in 2007, and Buffalo, New York (2000 and 2001).