Big man on campus

SHANE ROSS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:57 AM ET

There's no question he can run, especially on the fast break.

But he can't hide, not at 6-foot-11 and sporting what he calls the best hair in the NBA.

And not when he's in Ottawa for the first time, on the first day of the Toronto Raptors training camp at Carleton University.

Chris Bosh's personality is even bigger than his body. People want to see him, ask him silly questions such as what his favourite movie is. (The Devil's Advocate. Really?)

That's why there were a dozen or so fans craning their necks whenever the door to the Ravens gym opened a crack during the Raptors' morning practice. Or why they stood by the Greyhound bus parked just outside the gym's emergency exit.

After all, it's the public's only chance to see the Raptors, unless you're one of the lucky folks who have a ticket to the sold-out scrimmage on Saturday, the last day Canada's only NBA team will be in Ottawa. The practices are all behind closed doors and windows.

So maybe Bosh can hide, temporarily, but the spotlight eventually finds him.

The three-time all-star is even a bigger stud than he was last year. Sure, he helped the U.S. win gold at the Beijing Olympics, but it's not just on the court where he shines.

Ever since his wacky video encouraging fans to vote him into last year's all-star game, he has become somewhat of a YouTube sensation. He appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in June, where he hosted a funny on-camera preview of the NBA final between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. And stay tuned for his "funniest skit challenge" with L.A. Clippers prankster Baron Davis on AOL Sports.

"Growing as a player on the court helped me unleash my personality," Bosh said yesterday. "In my private life I'm always talking, I'm always loud and I like being funny."

That was clear (and loud) after yesterday's practice. As reporters waited as he stretched his muscles and iced his knees, he stood up and yelled, "Okay, let's go" so loud it echoed through the gym and perhaps all the way up to Parliament Hill.

Then the media horde followed him to the edge of the court, shoved their mikes in his face and asked him probing questions such as, "What do you know about Ottawa?" (Nothing, except that the Senators play here. Really?)

Oh, there were some serious questions, too, like how will Jose Calderon respond to being the No. 1 point guard after signing a new five-year, $45-million contract? (Jose's going to be the same dude, no matter what happens. Really?)

He continued to answer questions as team officials tried to rally the troops out the emergency exit and onto the bus.

When he didn't feel like answering any more, he turned and yelled, "Okay, let's go," so loud it echoed through the gym and perhaps, this time, all the way to Gatineau.

Everyone then knew it was time to go. There was no hiding that.


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