As the Toronto Raptors come off a historic series win in the NBA Finals Thursday night, the fever continues to dribble its way into Manitoba.
“It was an amazing night. Historic for our sport and historic for our country,” said Basketball Manitoba’s Adam Wedlake
“We’re totally on a buzz right now,” he added.
Wedlake is hoping the run put on by Toronto is inspiring more people to play the sport.
“How far it will go into inspiring the younger generations to pick-up a ball and get active is what we’re really excited about,” he said.
While the NBA’s season may be wrapped up, there are still some high-profile basketball events coming to the city.
NBA Champion coming to Winnipeg
Fresh off winning the Larry O’Brien Trophy, Raptors small forward Danny Green will coach a skills clinic in July for kids between the ages of 8-16.
“Over 200 players are signed-up. It sold out in an instant because of the excitement he brings. He’s an exciting player and we’re super happy to have him here on the court with the kids,” said Wedlake.
Team Canada in Winnipeg
Team Canada’s basketball team will also be in Winnipeg for an exhibition game in August.
“It’s big. It’s huge. It’s the first game of this level in Winnipeg since 1999 when the Pan Am Games took place. These kinds of games and event don’t come often. We’re encouraging everyone to support that game and teams,” Wedlake said.
Being with Basketball Manitoba since 1992, Wedlake said it’s amazing to see the popularity of the sport grow over the years.
“This would be seen as a very high watermark right now.”
“This (recent win) is uncharted territory for us. I would equate this to the Blue Jays back in the early ’90s winning back-to-back World Series. It’s very similar to that experience,” Wedlake added.
He is still processing how much of an impact this would make on popularity.
“We’re looking at the bounce effect of how this will take the sport where it is right now and really get it to the next level.”
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