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Toronto Huskies

On 1 November 1946, the Toronto Huskies faced the New York Knicks in the first professional basketball game played in Canada. Although the Huskies folded after only one season, it was Canada’s first professional basketball team and a founding member of the Basketball Association of America – what would later become the National Basketball Association.

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Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA) are a professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario. After the Vancouver Grizzlies moved to Memphis in 2001, the Raptors became the only Canadian team in the NBA. Since its founding in 1995, the team has won six division titles, made the playoffs 11 times and won the NBA championship once. Star players have included Damon Stoudamire, Vince Carter, Chris Bosh, Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Kawhi Leonard. In 2017–18, the Raptors finished atop the Eastern Conference regular season standings and set a franchise record with 59 wins. They won another division title in 2018–19 and advanced to the NBA Finals, where they defeated the Golden State Warriors in six games for their first NBA championship in franchise history.

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Andrew Wiggins

Andrew Christian Wiggins (born 23 February 1995 in Toronto, ON). Andrew Wiggins is a Canadian professional basketball player with the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Raised in Vaughan, Ontario, Wiggins first rose to fame as the world’s top-ranked high school basketball player and was a second-team All-American in college. In 2014, he became the second Canadian to be selected first overall in the NBA draft. He is the first Canadian player to be named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year and the first to score more than 40 points in a game. Wiggins also helped Canada secure three bronze medals in international competition. He is the highest-paid Canadian athlete of all time.    

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Steve Nash

Stephen John Nash, OC, OBC, basketball player (born 7 February 1974 in Johannesburg, South Africa). Steve Nash is widely considered the greatest Canadian basketball player of all time. He is a two-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player (MVP) and the first Canadian to win the award. A point guard, Nash was an eight-time NBA all-star. He ranks third on the NBA’s all-time assists leaderboard with 10,335 and second in career free-throw percentage with 90.43 per cent. He represented Canada in international competition and led the Canadian Senior Men’s National Team to the quarter-finals of the 2000 Olympic Summer Games. Nash is a three-time winner of the Lionel Conacher Award as Canada’s best male athlete. He won the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s top athlete in 2005. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and has been inducted into the Order of British Columbia, Canada’s Walk of Fame, the Phoenix Suns Ring of Honour and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame on 27 May 2020 and will be formally inducted in 2021. He was named the head coach of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets on 3 September 2020.

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James Naismith

Dr. James Naismith, physical educator, author, inventor, chaplain, physician (born 6 November 1861 in Almonte, Ontario; died 28 November 1939 in Lawrence, Kansas). James Naismith is best known as the inventor of the sport of basketball. He was also the first full-time athletics instructor at McGill University and established the basketball program at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, where he worked and lived for 41 years until his death. Naismith became the first member of the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959. He was posthumously inducted to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame. In 2010, his original hand-written rules for the sport of basketball were sold at auction for $4.3 million, a sports memorabilia record. 

timeline event

Vancouver Basketball Court Named After Steve Nash

The Nash Family Court on the Pacific National Exhibition grounds in East Vancouver was officially opened by NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum. “Steve had an incredible impact on the game,” he said. “We hope that this court will serve as a reminder of Steve’s hard work, of his humility and his dedication to the game and will inspire generations of Canadians and kids to come.”