Celebrating a Canadian Invention on Canada Weekend

Leo Toby from Brentwood Livery with Mark Cuban

The Canada weekend kicked off Friday with 3 of my best friends and teammates of 45+ years supporting Canada’s National Basketball Team at a qualifying (Basketball World Cup – China 2019) game against the Dominican Republic national team at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto. For the four of us it seemed appropriate that we celebrated Canada’s 151 years while also witnessing a game that a Canadian, Dr. James Naismith invented.

Locally, provincially and nationally basketball in Canada is a very broad and tight knit community, one or two degrees of separation really has been my experience. Before, during and after the game I renewed acquaintances with former teammates, opponents, broadcasters, commissioners and the like, some from as far away as Australia. Time seemed to stand still as the reminiscing cascaded … games re-lived, on-court collision’s exaggerated, recollections contested, event stories enlarged or obscured, it was FUN.

Passion for the game and all that entails best describes basketball players, coaches, officials, announcers, fans and owners alike. Whether you are young or old, black or white, male or female, foreign or domestic, rich or poor, basketball is a cohesive, friendly community, a community of one and a love for the game that has brought us together.

Sitting court side, we were only a few seats from the owner of the NBA Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban and Mr. Wonderful (Dragons Den) Kevin O’Leary. Both basketball fans, they were at ease, approachable and swept up in the enthusiasm for this game just being fans of this great sport that they both love.

As we usher in 151 years of Canada wouldn’t it be nice if collectively we could emulate the community of Basketball.

BTW Canada Won 97-61

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