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

** This story has been updated.

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 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

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Ivan Scott. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Surrey mayor enters word war with speakers, councillor

McCallum calls brief recess after asking two speakers to leave chambers

Montreal-based writer Michael Foy grew up in the Newton area of Surrey. (submitted photo)
Surrey-raised writer Foy really loves to set his short stories in the city

His latest is published in ‘Canadian Shorts II’ collection

Brandon Nathan Teixeira, arrested last December in California in connection with a fatal 2017 shooting in South Surrey, is next due in court on Nov. 12. (File photos)
Notorious South Surrey fugitive returns to court Nov. 12

Brandon Teixeira was arrested last December in California

The site of the former Rona store in Newton could be home to a park and civic amenities, in the 6900-block of King George Boulevard. (Photo: Google Street View)
Surrey buying 16 properties in Newton for parkland, civic amenities

Mayor Doug McCallum says project will be ‘fast-tracked’

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Maple Meadows Station’s new Bike Parkade. TransLink photo
TransLink to remove abandoned or discarded bicycles from bike parkades

Rules at TransLink bike parkades ask customers to use facilities for single day use only

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

Most Read