The Current

Raptors fan ditches prom to watch his team 'make history' in NBA championships

Raptors fans across the world are waking up to the team's first day as NBA champions. We look back at a night of victory and raucous celebration, and what the sacrifices that some fans have made on the road here.

Parents bought Markham, Ont., teen a tent to camp in Jurassic Park and claim his spot

Daniel Zhang ditched his prom to watch the Raptors play Thursday night. (Samira Mohyeddin/CBC)
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Before the Toronto Raptors had even won the NBA championships Thursday night, Grade 12 student Daniel Zhang said he had "no regrets whatsoever" about ditching his high school prom to watch the game.

"A lot of people are asking me ... if it was an easy decision — it 100 per cent was," he told The Current's Samira Mohyeddin, who went to Jurassic Park before the game to talk to diehard fans.

"We have a chance to make history. I'm coming here, no-brainer."

Zhang is from Markham, Ontario. His parents bought him a tent so he could camp in Jurassic Park to claim his spot. He was there from midnight Wednesday, braving the rain.

"It's worth it though."

Emotions ran high in Jurassic Park on Thursday night. (Samira Mohyeddin/CBC)

Zhang's confidence was well placed.

The Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors 114-110 in a nail-biting game at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.

The CBC's Devin Heroux was there. He said that after "the locker room celebration, and the champagne sprayed everywhere, and the hooplah" died down, he spotted a familiar face on centre court.

Nav Bhatia has become known as the Raptors superfan, a permanent fixture as he waves his towel courtside.

Nav Bhatia, the well known Toronto Raptors superfan, gives a shout out to all the Raps fans back home in Canada. 0:58

Heroux asked him who he thought about in a moment like this.

"He talked about his family, and he talked about all of the family celebrations that he's missed," Heroux told The Current's guest host Piya Chattopadhyay.

"Everything that he's put into this team — hasn't missed a single game in the franchise's history," he said.

"And there he stood, smiling."

Click 'listen' near the top of this page to hear the full conversation.


Written by Padraig Moran. Produced by Samira Mohyeddin, Alison Masemann and Julianne Hazlewood. 

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