Canadian Senior Men’s National Basketball Practice Session – Behind-the-Scene

The Canadian Senior Men’s National Basketball Team began its summer program practice session at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday. They were preparing for a tight packed four weeks of practices and games against top teams in Europe.  First off, Team Canada will have three days of practice in Toronto, then they will fly in Venice on Wednesday to begin a tour of friendly exhibition games against teams from Italy, Spain, Turkey, Slovenia, Georgia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Ukraine and Angola before returning to Toronto on August 13. Although the young exciting NBA players such as Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson weren’t available at the practice session, other guys such as Andrew Nicholson, Kevin Olynyk, Corey Joseph, and among others  attended the practice session. GM of Team Canada Steve Nash, Team Canada Coach Jay Triano and Corey Joseph addressed to the media about their goals and objectives with the practice sessions and the this Euro tour.

Here are some of the actions taken at the practice session at the Air Canada Centre, Raptors Practice Court, courtesy by photographer, Marcena Lau.

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Raptors Rudy Gay Bike Ride – #RideWithRG

It’s been a big weekend for Rudy Gay, who was named as an ambassador for the Kids, Cops & Computers program on Friday as he donated 22 laptops for the well-deserved selected group of kids. Then on Saturday, Rudy followed it up with a fun event for his fans on a perfect Saturday in Toronto. Rudy would most possibly be one of the first Toronto athletes to host a bike ride that interacts with fans by riding the bike together along the path of Lake Shore & Ontario Place.

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Gay invited his followers on social media a few days ago for a bike ride along Toronto’s Waterfront and brought special guests such as DeMar DeRozan, Amir Johnson, Aaron Gray, Quincy Acy, Dwight Buycks and Chris Wright, who all came out and support Rudy. Hundreds of Raptorsfans came out to enjoy this special rare opportunities. Being able to ride a bike and interact with Raptors players don’t come often all the time.

Here are some of the photos captured by me and you can get a glimpse of how fun this bike event was organized by Rudy Gay. “Follow” me on twitter @MoVernie or “Follow” me on “MoVernie on the BLOG”.

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Raptors Chris Wright, Quincy Acy & Amir Johnson

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Raptors Dwight Buycks & Aaron Gray sharing a laugh

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Raptors truck delivered the bikes and helmets for the Raptors players, donated by the Canadian Tire

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The bikes are all setup and ready for the Raptors players

MoVernie Joining Forces with Raptors Cage

It’s OFFICIAL! Going forward, many of my basketball related blogs will be published on an energetic, fun & cool basketball site called the “Raptors Cage”. It is a site organized by a number of die-hard Raptorsfans. Most importantly, this site is organized and run by a group of teenagers. At such a young age, they have dedicated their time and putting in their effort to provide various Raptors news and information to their fans. It’s extra special to me that the younger generation of people learn the importance of team work, knowing their roles and responsibilities in life. These are key experiences for their future career and lives.

In case you wondered, didn’t MoVernie already contribute basketball blogs to another blogging site called the Pro Bball Report? Yes, indeed. But both basketball sites bring different elements to the audience. For Pro Bball Report, its main focus is on the score of the game, the impact of the players that  have contributed to the outcome of the game. The pre and post game commentary from the coaches and players are being provided. As for Raptors Cage, it’s more about the behind-the-scenes of the players’ lives and lifestyles. A more focus on the players’ personality and their interests outside the basketball court.

I look forward to work with both sites and I am sure I can balance my content with both parties.

First of all, click here to view my first blog on Raptors Cage.

MoVernie Story on Raptors Cage

MoVernie Story on Raptors Cage

Andrew Wiggins Spotted at Team Canada vs Team Jamaica – Game 1

As I was covering the first game of the series between Team Canada vs Team Jamaica basketball game, I saw a familiar face in attendance at the game as spectator!

Future college, NBA and Team Canada star, Andrew Wiggins, elected not to participate on the roster this summer so that he can spend more time preparing for his freshman season with University of Kansas, but he was on hand with his family to show his support and observe the team’s style of play.

Honestly, not many people recognize his presence as he is still a new face for many fans, but soon, when he becomes famous, I am sure he will be a household name. So, I spotted him right away as he was walking towards his seats. He wore a long sleeve greenish sweater, along with a Chicago White Sox baseball cap. He came along with his family and friends, total of 6 of them.

As he walked by the aisle, I said “Andrew, best of luck to your school and basketball.” Andrew replied “Thanks man! I appreciate this”. Then, I offered to high five him and he had a smile on his face. He seemed like a calm, down-to-earth kid, just like any normal teenager, just enjoying the quality time with his family and watching a game of basketball.

One funny note, as his family found their seats underneath the basketball net, a few minutes later, 2 little kids, aged around 6-8, tapped Andrew’s shoulders and showed them their tickets. Apparently, Andrew and Co. sat at the wrong seats! So, even if he is a future nba star, there is no mercy. I like the guts of the innocent of the kids, as usual, will not shy away and get what they wanted. I got to give props for Andrew Wiggins, who didn’t throw a “Do you know who I am?” card. Instead, the whole family moved to another spot to watch the game.

Another funny moment came when Andrew and his friends decided to grab a bite. Just like anyone else, he walked up to the second level and lined up to order hotdogs and nachos. He was surrounded by the crowd, but the crowd gave Andrew his own space. Some shook his hand and chatted him up abit, but otherwise, they let Andrew enjoy his time with his friends.

Honestly, how often you got to see a star getting into the normal crowd, waiting in line and ordering their own food? This was a rare moment and when he becomes a superstar, he will not need to lineup to get his own food. There will be VIP rooms and special servers, so being able to see him up close was precious. LOL

Here are some photos of Andrew Wiggins that I took at the game. Best of luck to Andrew Wiggins.

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Andrew Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins