Raptors’ superfan donates $150,000 for new basketball courts in Mississauga
Basketball fans, rejoice!
A beloved public figure is about to make playing basketball a little bit more fun in Mississauga.
The City of Mississauga just announced that the Nav Bhatia Superfan Foundation is contributing $150,000 to the redevelopment of four basketball courts, as well as on-going programming at Malton’s Paul Coffey Park.
Nav Bhatia, who became even more locally famous during the 2019 NBA Finals, is a Canadian businessman and superfan of the Toronto Raptors. He amassed a fairly substantial fortune as the owner of one of the top-selling Hyundai car dealerships in Canada and has never missed a single Raptors game since 1995.
Paul Coffey Park is one of the city’s biggest parks—and one that’s been slated to undergo major redevelopment. The park stretches 45.5 hectares (112.4 acres) through Malton and is popular amongst residents, sports and cultural groups.
The park is home to the Paul Coffey Arena, the new Malton Adventure playground and the recently renovated CF100 aircraft. It is also slated to welcome a $3 million, full-size Avro Arrow replica in the future.
Amazing day at Mississauga Council! An enormous cheque for an NBA basketball court in Malton. The Superfan, Nav Bhatia, was SO GRACIOUS! Spent several hours getting photos with every one of the 100 students from Ascension SS. THANKYOU! pic.twitter.com/CH2YZPnDMF— carolyn parrish (@carolynhparrish) February 12, 2020
“We know that sport has the unique ability to inspire and unite people from diverse backgrounds. It’s so much more than a game; it injects excitement, enthusiasm and builds a sense of community. That was never more evident than when Mississauga hosted tens of thousands of fans to Jurassic Park West to cheer on the Raptors during the NBA finals, officially cementing our City’s reputation as a hotbed for basketball,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie in a statement.
“I want to personally thank Nav and his foundation for continuing to invest in our city and for finding ways to engage our youth through community-based sports projects. Great cities are shaped by the people who live and work here and who are invested in making it a better place. I want to thank Councillor Parrish for her advocacy efforts; this wouldn’t be possible without her. These new courts will have long-lasting impacts on the Malton community and will help grow and shape sports in our city for decades to come.”
According to the city, the $150,000 will upgrade the planned court reconstruction to a multi-court basketball facility, with one regulation-sized FIBA (International Basketball Federation) court and three full-courts with four - 3vs3 FIBA hoops. The funding will also provide colour coating, an umbrella seating area, player benches, a decorative fence wrap, eight new basketball hoops and court line paintings.
The planned reconstruction of the basketball courts currently includes a provision for asphalt court replacement, an expanded basketball play area and a fence replacement.
“Paul Coffey Park is undergoing a complete transformation. The new basketball courts, sports fields and amenities will create a fresh vibrancy,” said Ward 5 Councillor Carolyn Parrish in a statement.
“I am very thankful to Mississauga’s own Raptors’ Superfan, Nav Bhatia, for this generous investment into his first Canadian community. He can always be counted on. His ongoing support will help provide a positive outlet for children in the neighbourhood. The new basketball courts will give youth in the area access to a safe space to learn, play and thrive while having fun.”
In addition to the basketball courts, the foundation has committed to provide on-going programming for the courts through its annual superfan summer tournaments and other Nav Bhatia Superfan Foundation events.
Phase one construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2020.
The Nav Bhatia Superfan Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising money to build courts and camps for children in Canada.
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