"Canada's Team" is coming to the capital.
The Toronto Raptors are preparing to hold their 2008-09 training camp at Carleton University, pending the finalization of a deal between the NBA team and the school, sources confirmed yesterday.
In Phoenix working on more immediate issues such as trades and free agents, Raptors president/GM Bryan Colangelo did not return calls from the Ottawa Sun.
Rotating their training camp site is nothing new for the Raptors. Last fall, they were in Italy and Spain. In previous years, while trying to expand their fan base, they've held training camp in Waterloo and in St. Catharines, at Brock University.
The Raptors have also been to Ottawa in the past, hosting a pre-season game at Scotiabank Place in 1994.
For them to hold training camp at the Ravens' Nest -- the home of what has been Canada's best university team for most of the past decade -- would be a natural fit.
Aside from the economical benefits to Carleton, the Raptors presence should also enhance Ottawa's interest in basketball.
BIG GAME IN OFFING
Along with a week-long camp in October would come the Raptors' annual intra-squad game. Such an event would likely have to be played in a larger venue such as Scotiabank Place.
Led by Chris Bosh, the Raptors, the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference last season, were bumped in the first round of the playoffs by the Orlando Magic.