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

Hockey 4: Simply for the love of hockey

No scores kept, no MVPs named — in Hope they just play for fun

Update: Southbound Coquihalla single lane re-opens after semi flips

The Merritt to Hope southbound stretch closed after accident around 9 a.m. on long weekend Friday

PHOTOS: At least 17 trees found damaged in East Sector park

The Fraser Valley Regional District is investigating the incident

Hope Film Club to screen Scorcese classic Goodfellas

Film is ‘breathless and brilliant’ and celebrating its 30th anniversary

Highway 1 crash in Langley slows westbound commuters

Crash occurred between 232nd Street and Glover Road

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Most Read