The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday that Head Coach Dwane Casey and his team will conduct a portion of training camp in Halifax, Nova Scotia on October 4 and 5, featuring an intra-squad game Saturday, October 5 at noon at the Halifax Metro Centre. The team also held part of their 2012 camp in Halifax.
“We are excited to return to Halifax after our great experience last year,” said Casey. “The city offers us state of the art facilities and the opportunity to continue to grow the game of basketball across the country.”
The intra-squad game will provide fans the first opportunity to preview the team for the upcoming season and will include appearances from The Raptor and the Foot Locker Raptors Dance Pak. Last year’s scrimmage attracted more than 8,700 fans and raised $56,000 for local charities.
“We are proud of our continued partnership with the Toronto Raptors and are excited to welcome them to the Halifax Metro Centre for a second year in a row,” said Scott Ferguson, president and CEO of Trade Centre Limited, the provincial Crown corporation that manages the Halifax Metro Centre. “The Raptors have a huge fan base in our community and when an opportunity like this comes along to engage fans and support local charitable organizations at the same time, it is a win for everyone.”
A voluntary donation of $10 per ticket is suggested for admission to this year’s event, benefitting Feed Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame Education Program, Kidsport Nova Scotia and YWCA Supportive Housing for Young Mothers. Tickets will be available at participating AML Communications locations beginning Friday, July 26. For additional ticketing information, please visit www.ticketatlantic.com.
The Raptors will conduct two practices Friday, October 4 at the Canada Games Centre. Both practice sessions will be closed to the public. A specific practice schedule with times and media availability will be released later.
In partnership with the Canada Games Centre and Basketball Nova Scotia, The Raptors Basketball Development team will hold two youth basketball clinics for 200 local athletes, as well as host a mentoring session for 40 identified local coaches.
“The Canada Games Centre is thrilled that the Toronto Raptors are returning to Halifax for a second year,” says Gary Furlong, General Manager of the Canada Games Centre. “We’re pleased to make our wonderful facility accessible to the Raptors and look forward to hosting them again in October.”
It will be sixth time the team has held a portion of camp outside the province of Ontario. In addition to Halifax, the Raptors trained in Vancouver in 2010, Treviso and Rome, Italy and Madrid, Spain as part of NBA Europe Live in 2007, and Buffalo, New York in 2000 and 2001.
The Raptors played a preseason game in Halifax in each of the team’s first three seasons (1995-97). The very first game in franchise history took place in Halifax on October 14, 1995, with the Raptors posting a 120-107 preseason victory over Philadelphia.
The city of Halifax has a long and successful history with the sport of basketball. The city played host to the collegiate CIS championship for 24 consecutive years from 1984 to 2007. The event returned to Halifax in March 2011 and 2012.
The Halifax Rainmen, a professional basketball club, has been in existence since 2007-08. The Rainmen are one of 10 teams currently competing in the National Basketball League of Canada.