Superfan Nav Bhatia has a blast at NBA All-Star Game

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Toronto, February 19 (CINEWS): Nav Bhatia Toronto Raptor’s Superfan since 1999 has never missed a game, he was not about to miss the NBA All-Star Game last weekend. “This is historic; this is a true testament to all the players who have worn the Raptor’s jersey especially Vince Carter, to the MLSE staff, the Raptor’s board of directors and to each person that works in the Air Canada Centre basketball games day in and day out. This is going to be the best All-Star game in history”. His poignant prediction just may have come true.
This year MLSE and the Toronto Raptor’s organization designated Nav the official Community Ambassador working alongside the Global Ambassador Drake. The Superfan has been an integral reason for the improvement in the diversity of the fan base especially in the increase of South Asians attending the Raptor’s games; “When I first used to come to the games you could hardly see 20 South Asians in attendance but now you see thousands and I commend the Raptor’s for being a very inclusive organization”. Beginning Feb 11 the entire world will be able to witness the multicultural city of Toronto during NBA All-Star week.
It began for the Superfan with an interview on “The Starters” – a primetime basketball news show airing on NBA TV weeknights. With a crowd of hundreds in attendance the interview quickly turned to the impact Vince Carter has had on basketball in Canada. “None of this would be possible today without Vince Carter. His impact on basketball extends throughout the NBA, the 13 Canadian’s playing in the game today all recognize the influence Carter had on their careers” – Nav Bhatia discusses.
The week continued with numerous interviews across many national media channels all clamouring for the Raptor’s community ambassador and Superfan’s take on the All-Star game being in Toronto; but what was to transpire Friday morning changed everything for the Superfan. “I wasn’t sure where I would be sitting. The NBA takes control of all the seats in the arena. To ensure access I had purchased a Luxury Box for me and my friends. Then I received a call from the NBA on Friday morning whereby they thanked me for everything I had done to promote the Raptors and basketball globally. Next thing I know I’m being told to show me their appreciation the NBA has allocated my courtside seats to me for the weekend. They wanted the Superfan in his all too familiar courtside seats! I was truly humbled by this gesture.”
The Global Ambassador Drake even weighed in on acknowledging the sacrifice made by the Superfan Nav Bhatia by exchanging a few words courtside and thanking Nav for everything he has done for the game of basketball in Toronto as he signed the Superfan’s Eastern All-Star jersey; finding space amongst the many signatures from various other players.
The Superfan Nav Bhatia was not done yet. He was introduced to a one-of-a-kind custom hat designed by international designer to the stars Don C. With a signature snakeskin brim leather print and Swarovski crystal embedded Toronto logo on the face, Mitchell and Ness commissioned the hat to be auctioned off benefiting the MLSE Foundation. Well Nav Bhatia refused to see this hat leave Toronto and won the auction with a donation of $5,000 to the MLSE Foundation.
The Rising Stars, Slam Dunk Saturday, and the ALL-Star game were all fantastic and historic in their own ways. The epic dunk competition going to extra dunks, the last Kobe Bryant All-Star game of all time and of course our local heroes Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan playing together for the first time on an All-Star court. The week was more than anyone could imagine, much more than the Superfan could have expected. But perhaps the surprise highlight was the event at Casino Woodbine where Nav Bhatia flew down Raptor’s alumni Muggsy Bogues, Charles Oakley, Antonio Davis, Tracy Mcgrady, Dell Curry and Jerome JYD Williams for an impromptu Q&A. The chemistry was instantaneous and the ex team-mates were happy to share old war stories with the sold-out 600 fans in attendance.

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