Community & Current Events

5 reasons Canadian basketball fans should be excited for 2016

By: Jill Buchner

NBA Author: Canadian Living Credits: NBA

Community & Current Events

5 reasons Canadian basketball fans should be excited for 2016

By: Jill Buchner

Canada may only have one NBA team, but it's going to be an action-packed year for basketball in Canada. Here's what we have to look forward to in 2016.

1. It's the 125th anniversary of the sport. Back in 1891, a Canadian named James Naismith nailed a peach basket 10 feet high and created a team game where students in his gym class had to try to get the ball into the basket.

2. The NBA All-Star Game is being held in Canada for the first time ever. On Feb. 14, the game will be played at Toronto's Air Canada Centre, being broadcast to fans in more than 200 countries.

3. It's also the 70th anniversary of the first NBA game ever played—which also happened to be in Toronto!

4. Fans who can't get tickets to the All-Star Game can buy tickets to NBA Centre Court from Feb. 12 to 14. Centre Court is a family friendly event where fans can try their hand at dunking, meet some of their basketball idols, get lessons from NBA dancers and buy their favourite team jerseys or even autographed balls. It's going to be an action-packed interactive celebration of the sport across more than 40 courts at the Enercare Centre in Toronto. Jerome Williams, an NBA veteran and former Raptors fan favourite, calls it the "Disneyland and Superbowl of basketball." "If you're not into basketball, you will fall in love with it when you come to Centre Court," he says. The best part? Tickets to Centre Court are just $15.

5. The NBA All-Star Celebrity Game will be held in Toronto on Feb. 12 and Williams calls this the can't-miss event of All-Star weekend. At the celebrity game, WNBA stars and NBA legends play alongside some of the most famous comedians, actors, singers, rappers and other entertainers. "Kevin Hart was runner up for MVP last year, which was very disappointing for him because he had been MVP for two years running," says Williams. "I know he will be there, and most likely Ice Cube too, and a host of other celebrities. I don't know what will happen, but I'm telling you that's one you don't want to miss."

Want to know more great things that originated in Canada? Check out our list of 50 insane facts about Canada

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5 reasons Canadian basketball fans should be excited for 2016

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