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Welcome Toronto

Toronto Raptors Pair with Rapper Drake for New Chartable Cause

On Wednesday, Rap superstar Drake and the Toronto Raptors continued to give back to their native home.

President Masai Ujiri and the Canadian rapper announced plans to create a charitable new program called Welcome Toronto. The two sides will donate $1 million to revamp local community basketball courts, while donating another $2-million to Canada Basketball.

“The thing I’m most proud of this partnership is the million dollars that we’re going to be giving to the city to re-do these courts,” said Drake at a news conference on Wednesday. “Hopefully to create an amazing atmosphere for anyone in that community to come out and either play casual basketball or potentially breed the next generation of Canadian superstar basketball players.”

The Raptors will also play six ‘Welcome Toronto’ themed home games this season while sporting the black and gold coloured Drake Night jerseys.

“I’m just really excited to still be here after all these years,” said a humbled Drake. “It was surreal when it first happened and it’s still surreal to be sitting here with this guy and being able to give back to the best city in the world.”

Similar to Drake, Ujiri is excited what such a cause can do for basketball in the country of Canada.

“They continue to grow, to make noise, someway, somehow. The youth continue to come up. It’s encouraging,” said Ujiri after the news conference. “It started with Vince [Carter], and it’s continued with Drake and the Raptors, DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, the young players playing with the Raptors. Everything encourages them — I’m not sure if I can mention names, but the young players around the league, it’s strong.

“You see the prospects. We’re checking them out. We see who the Canadians are. We know. We’ll continue to [celebrate] being Canada’s only basketball team.”

This marks yet another big off-court move showing what kind of culture the Raptors want to instil on their own franchise.

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