Raptors' superfan honoured by Basketball Hall of Fame

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It’s been a huge week for Raptors’ superfan Nav Bhatia. 

Recently, it was announced that the superfan has been honoured by the Basketball Hall of Fame and will become one of the first honourees of a new superfan gallery.

Bhatia, who became even more locally famous during the 2019 NBA Finals, is a Canadian businessman and superfan of the Toronto Raptors.  

Can’t say this is a dream come true because this isn’t something you dream about as a fan,” said Bhatia in a tweet.

The news follows hot on the heels of another huge announcement. Earlier this week, the City of Mississauga 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.

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.

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. 

Bhatia 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.

Fans and supporters—including some very well-known ones—have congratulated Bhatia on the honour.

What an amazing honour, for an amazing person! Congrats,” Brampton Regional Councillor Gurpreet Singh Dhillon tweeted. 

Big city mayors also weighed in on social media. 

Congrats [Nav Bhatia]!,” Toronto Mayor John Tory tweeted. 

Congratulations to [Nav] Bhatia on this incredible achievement. From philanthropist to entrepreneur and avid [Raptors] fan, Nav wears his heart on his sleeve, making the world brighter for those around him. An important honour for an important person,” Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie wrote in a tweet. 

The team also congratulated their biggest fan. 

For all you’ve done for the sport in Canada there is no one more deserving,” the team wrote on its official twitter page. 

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