Nav Bhatia with young basketball players at the BC Prep gym in Surrey on Jan. 29. (submitted photo: Christopher Edmondstone)

VIDEO/PHOTOS: Raptors ‘superfan’ Bhatia meets basketball players in Surrey

He’s here to promote FIBA tournament that will see winner qualify for 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games

Toronto Raptors “superfan” Nav Bhatia was in Surrey on Wednesday night (Jan. 29) to help promote the FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament in Victoria later this year. 

Bhatia, in his duties as a “Canada Basketball Community Ambassador,” met with AthElite basketball players at BC Prep Academy, at 15358 67th Ave., Surrey.

Bhatia, an auto dealer in the Toronto area, says he’s never missed a single Raptors game since 1995, and was given a NBA championship ring by the team last year in celebration of his support over the years.

“His goal is simple: to unite people of all ages and backgrounds through the game of basketball so they don’t have to face the discrimination Nav faced over the years as a visible minority,” says a bio posted to the National Speakers Bureau website.

(scroll down to see more photos)

In Victoria, Team Canada will face #7-ranked Greece in the opening game of the FIBA tourney, to run from June 23-28 at Victoria’s Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

Canada Basketball has announced that ticket packages for the qualifier will go on sale at 10 a.m. Pacific time on Friday, Jan. 31. Details are posted to http://vic2020.basketball.ca.

(story continues below)

The tournament winner will qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games.

Team Canada is looking to return to the Olympics for the first time since 2000.

In Victoria, Canada will face Greece and China in Group A, while Uruguay, Czech Republic and Turkey have been drawn into Group B. Each team will play the other two teams in its own group (two games for each team). The top two teams in each group will advance to the semifinals. The two semifinal winners will advance to the winner-takes-all final for the remaining Olympic spot.

Nine-game ticket packages range from $270 ($30 per game) plus service charges to $1,350 ($150 per game) plus service charges. Two dollars from each ticket is dedicated to the tournament’s not-for-profit legacy fund, to be reinvested “in the promotion of sport development, social, cultural, economic and community development enhancements in Victoria and across the Capital Region.”

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

June 23:

Group A – Game 1: Greece versus Canada

Group B – Game 2: Uruguay versus Turkey

June 24:

Group A – Game 3: Canada versus China

Group B – Game 4: Turkey versus Czech Republic

June 25:

Group A – Game 5: China versus Greece

Group B – Game 6: Czech Republic versus Uruguay

June 27:

Game 7: Semifinal game #1 (1st A versus 2nd B)

Game 8: Semifinal game #2 (1st B versus 2nd A)

June 28:

Final: (Winner Game 7 versus Winner Game 8) with winner advancing to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (July 24 – August 9, 2020)

In addition to Canada (Victoria), the National Federations of Croatia (Split), Lithuania (Kaunas) and Serbia (Belgrade) will also host FIBA Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.

basketballOlympicsSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Nav Bhatia with young basketball players at the BC Prep gym in Surrey on Jan. 29. (submitted photo: Christopher Edmondstone)

Nav Bhatia with young basketball players at the BC Prep gym in Surrey on Jan. 29. (submitted photo: Christopher Edmondstone)

Just Posted

Chilliwack to remember D-Day veterans on 76th anniversary of Normandy landing

Thousands died June 6, 1944, coming ashore on beaches in France while facing heavy German resistance

Road washout affecting section of Highway No. 3 near Manning Park

Road maintenance crews are on the scene, with an almost two kilometre long stretch impacted

Column: Patience and persistence required with green technology

Solar panels and wind farms aren’t yet where we need them to be, but does that mean we give up?

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Caretakers say goodbye to Gwynne Vaughan heritage house in Chilliwack after 17 years

Larry and Vicky Graitson have seen a lot of changes at the community park over the years

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Human Rights Tribunal denies church’s request to toss out White Rock Pride Society’s complaint

Star of the Sea and White Rock Pride Society to go to Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Abbotsford’s UFV gym now without a sponsor

Partnership with Envision Financial ends, school seeking new organizations to partner with

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Most Read