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The Toronto Raptors played five quarters in front of 800 fans at Mattamy Athletic Centre on Sunday as part of their pre-season preparation.
Tickets were by-donation and raised approximately $4,000 for Ryerson Rams Care’s Send Kids to Camp Campaign. For every $200 raised, a child attends Ryerson’s day camps for a week. The event helped to raise money for charity, but also offered an opportunity for fans from Ryerson and the Greater Toronto Area to be closer to the Raptors than they normally would be.
“It was crazy. I think this is the closest I’ll ever be to the team so I’m going to remember this forever,” said Kayli Chen, a University of Toronto neuroscience student.
Chen said she often looks out for opportunities like this because regular season tickets are financially out of reach. She also praised Ryerson for hosting this event, as she said she doesn’t think an event like this would ever happen at her university. “U of T is not as cool as Ryerson,” Chen said
Norman Powell, a shooting guard with the Raptors, said he was happy to be at Ryerson over the Thanksgiving weekend.
“It’s really important to show that we care about the love and support they’ve showed us,” said Powell, who sustained a quadricep injury this past Friday and sat out this scrimmage. “To be able to do something like this, for them to come out, to be able sign some autographs, take some pictures, be up close and personal, that’s our way of giving back.”
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Powell says his injury was just a “little bruise” and expects to be fine.
He also complimented Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre and said he would work out at the MAC if he was in Toronto during the summer. “If they offered it and it was open, definitely I’d be up here,” Powell said.
The intrasquad game featured most members of the team, including highly anticipated newcomers Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. OG Anunoby was not in attendance.
Mohammed Basset, first-year business student, came out in hopes of seeing Leonard’s chemistry with other members, especially star point guard, Kyle Lowry. “The success of the Raptors are going to be dependent on their teamwork,” said Basset.