Raps announce training camp in Vancouver

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:07 PM ET

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday that they will hold a portion of their training camp at UBC from October 1 to 6, marking it only the second time the NBA team has left their home province for camp.

"This is a unique opportunity to visit other parts of the country," said Maurizio Gherardini, assistant GM of the Raptors. "This is a basketball community and to help the growth of basketball, you have to try and make a huge country like Canada a smaller country. That is our job, find a way to be Canada's team, to use all the opportunities we have to let the fans gets closer to the team."

The Raptors' last venture outside of Ontario came in 2007, when they trained in Italy and Spain, but Gherardini says the growth of the sport is progressing in Canada.

"It's a never-ending process," he said. "We are becoming more and more of an international point of reference. Before that kind of status, there is no doubt that we are trying what we can to be as big as possible in our country."

Toronto will hold practices, which are closed to the public, at the War Memorial Gymnasium and will host an open intrasquad game on Oct. 3 at 1 p.m.

Tickets will be available online starting August 13 at ticketmaster.ca and a donation of $15 is suggested.

"To have them on campus here is going to be wonderful," said UBC Thunderbirds coach Kevin Hanson. "It's good exposure for our kids, we get a chance to see them at a high level."

The Raptors also open their preseason play on Oct. 6 at Rogers Arena against the Phoenix Suns.


Videos

Photos