The Current

'This is just the beginning': Raptors' win signals new chapter in Canadian basketball

The Raptors' first-ever NBA title could go a long way toward changing the future of the sport in this country as more young people across the country are enticed to take part.

Canada's first-ever NBA title will change the tone around basketball from coast to coast, talent scout says

Toronto Raptors fans react inside Jurassic Park, outside of the Scotiabank Arena, in Toronto, as they watch the Raptors defeat the Golden State Warriors in game 6 of the NBA Finals to win the NBA Championship, Thursday, June 13, 2019.
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As Canada boasts its first-ever NBA championship title, basketball recruiting coach Elias Sbiet warns other teams that the North is just getting warmed up.

"The biggest thing is [this win] breaks the inferiority complex that we've had to the United States," he said.

"We've always looked at ourselves as little brother in some regard, and that'll be no more. We're just not having any more of it," the director of recruiting at North Pole Hoops, a national scouting service, told The Current's guest host Piya Chattopadhyay.

The "psyche" within the basketball ecosystem is crucial, he explained, and Thursday night's Game 6 win just gave players across the country the boost of confidence they need to show the world their talent.

In a tense, lively game, the Toronto Raptors took the Golden State Warriors 114-110, earning their first NBA championship in franchise history and giving way to raucous celebrations across Canada.

"We're going after world cups … this is just the beginning," Sbiet said of Canadian basketball success, from leagues and teams from coast to coast.

To discuss what the Raptors' win means for Canada's budding players, Chattopadhyay spoke to:

  • Elias Sbiet, director of recruiting at North Pole Hoops, a national basketball scouting service.

  • Jahcobi Neath, point guard for the Canada U-19 basketball team.

  • Amreen Kadwa. executive director of Hijabi Ballers.

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


Written by Émilie Quesnel. Produced by Julianne Hazlewood and Donya Ziaee.

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