Raps welcome all

Steve Buffery

, Last Updated: 8:16 AM ET

The Raptors may play an exhibition game next October against Maccabi Tel Aviv, one of the strongest professional teams in Israel. The game has yet to be formalized, but Raptors GM Rob Babcock yesterday confirmed that negotiations have been held between the two sides.

The Raptors have a history of hosting professional teams from European leagues. This past fall, Toronto hosted Italian team Benetton Treviso and Panathinaikos of the Greek League in 2003.

Steve Fruitman, the Raptors director of basketball operations, said negotiations are underway for the Raptors to play an exhibition game next fall in St. John's, Nfld. Toronto was scheduled to play the Cleveland Cavaliers at Mile One Stadium in 2003 but the game was cancelled because of moisture on the court. Then GM Glen Grunwald said he would do everything possible to reschedule a game in Newfoundland. And while the Raptors are attempting to live up to that promise, Fruitman said it's a hard contest to put together as opposition teams really don't want to travel great distances for neutral site games.

READ TO ACHIEVE

Rafer Alston, Lamond Murray and Morris Peterson will visit with students from John G. Althouse Middle School on Tuesday at the Royal Ontario Museum. The purpose of the gathering is to recognize the value of reading and on-line literacy and encourage families and adults to ready regularly with children ... On Jan. 24, the Raptors will make their annual team visit to the Hospital for Sick Children ... The Goodwill Winter Clothing Drive tips off on Jan.30 as Jalen Rose will be the spokesperson and will purchase 100 brand new coats to start the team's drive.

QUICK HIT

Rookie centre Rafael Araujo's 14 rebounds against Sacramento on Wednesday was a career-best and tied the Raptors season high... Lamond Murray is ninth in the NBA in three-point efficiency, shooting 44% from beyond the arc.


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