Edmonton News | Local Breaking | CTV News Edmonton
Basketball seeing 'amazing moment' as Raptors make NBA finals
As the Toronto Raptors celebrate success after success, so does basketball in Canada, it seems.
The team’s 100-94 win against the Milwaukee Bucks sent fans into a euphoric frenzy Saturday night—but the ripple effects of a historic season by the Raptors seem widespread.
“The popularity of basketball is on a meteoric rise in Canada. The timing is almost surreal,” Paul Sir, executive director of the Alberta Basketball Association, told CTV News.
Basketball, Sir noted, is among the fastest-growing sports in Canada.
That the Raptors have reached the NBA finals for the first time in team history has undoubtedly had an effect.
Edmonton apparel stores told CTV News they struggle to keep the Toronto team’s merchandise in stock.
And the entrance of a new professional team, the Edmonton Stingers, among growing youth and adult leagues, signal the sport’s rise in popularity in Edmonton is just beginning.
“Think of all the little girls and little boys that someday might be playing in the WNBA or the NBA… that have caught the bug from what’s going on right now,” Raptors broadcaster Jack Armstrong said.
“It’s just an amazing moment.”
The Raptors will play their first game of the finals against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday.
Sir is predicting an exciting match between the two teams.
“What we just witnessed was something special, but there is something even more special just on the horizon.”
With files from Timm Bruch