BY STEPHEN YOUNATAN
The Raptors 905 is set to kick off its fourth season. The Toronto Raptors G-League affiliate located in Mississauga, is part of the official minor league basketball organization of the NBA, making them the only Canadian team in the league.
The Raptors 905 began three years ago as the Toronto Raptors’ first-ever G-League affiliate. The team plays its games in the Paramount Fine Foods Centre in Mississauga, since then the organization has become a pillar of the G-League, winning the championship in 2017 and making the finals in 2018.
The name “905” comes from the area code of the suburbs surrounding Toronto. The Raptors 905 has produced many players, readying them for the Toronto Raptors and NBA action. A few players that have played on the 905 that have played in the NBA include forward Pascal Siakam, guard Fred Vanvleet, and 2018 G-League MVP guard Lorenzo Brown. The head coach of the Raptors 905 is Jama Mahlalela, who was a former assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors the previous season.
The Raptors 905 media relations provided what the expectations are for this upcoming season with only three words, “Win another Championship.” After winning the G-League championship in 2017 and coming up short in the 2018 finals, the Raptors 905 have high expectations for the 2018-2019 G-League season. When it comes to player expectations the 905 have one thing in mind, “be a team leader on and off the court.” Expectations for players not only include their basketball duties on the court, but it also includes being a leader in their respective community to provide a good example for everyone.
The fan-base has been increasing their numbers each year with this past year bringing in the most viewers. According to the 905, the “Growing Audience” has led to some record-breaking statistics. “Last year, we broke our own G-League record with a sold-out crowd of 18,900,” according to the 905. That game came against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Dec 5, a rematch of the 2017 G-League finals, which the 905 lost 117-109.
Out here breaking our own record. #RoadToTheSix pic.twitter.com/U1sUUGFQyO
— Raptors 905 (@Raptors905) December 5, 2017
The Raptors 905 hold open tryouts every year for locals to attempt their dreams of playing professional basketball. “The local open tryouts is the only window for local talents to actually make a G League team and eventually an NBA team.” This is something that the G-League has embraced and involves the many communities by giving an opportunity to those who wouldn’t get one otherwise. “Local tryouts held at the UTM,” (University of Toronto Mississauga) according to the 905. This year, four players were selected from the open tryout to attend training camp. Those four players include:
|Roger Moute a Bidias||OR/FR|
OR = Opening Day Roster.
FR = Means they were on our final roster at the end of the season.
The 905 are going into their fourth season with the home opener scheduled for Nov 3 against the Delaware Blue Coats. Visit the Raptors 905 website for more information.