Raptors 905 go into the GTA's hub of basketball in Scarborough for an open practice

Nickeem Khan
FiredUp Network Sports Writer

@nickeemkhan

Thursday, November 3, 2022


With the upcoming G League season nearly underway, the Raptors 905 took to the Toronto Pan Am Centre in Scarborough to hold their open practice. Featuring professional basketball isn't anything new within Scarborough, as they were the home of the Scarborough Shooting Stars of the CEBL this past summer. However, the energy for the 905 would fool someone to think that they were playing in their home city.

The night was filled with great energy all around. The players were all very interactive with the fans. Justin Champagnie who didn't participate in the practice made it a point of emphasis to sign autographs and take as many pictures with fans as he could. It was a joyous sight to see how happy the children were.

In terms of the 905 players, they were able to get to business quickly. Once the scrimmage started the competitive nature of this group was on full display. Newly added point guard Saben Lee was sensational in his first bit of action with this team.

His change of pace along with the way he can create separation for a shot. but most importantly it was the tone he set for the rest of the guys. "I told the guys obviously it's fun to have everyone here at open practice but at the end of the day we want to win" said Lee. Already imprinting his leadership within this team.

There was a lot of back and forth action from both teams. Ryan Hawkins showed his value for this season with his sharpshooting hitting an array of threes across the floor. Ron Harper Jr. played great, living up to the two-way contract that he signed with the Toronto Raptors.

Although his ability to slash is a strong point of his game, his ability to shoot from the perimeter is second to none. His mechanics on his from look smoother from Summer League, and he continued to live up to his clutch reputation making the game winning three for team black.

Harper gives credit to the fans to the performance from the roster, "Even though we play in Mississauga we're here 45 minutes away, they're showing love and the gym was packed. That played a big part in us playing well and giving the fans a show before the real season starts".

All these newcomers were showing out but there are still a few players on this team returning from last season. Among that small amount is forward Reggie Perry who also played great, especially in the third quarter where he couldn't be stopped converting on four consecutive baskets.

When asked about the massive change in personnel, Perry was able to make a critical analysis of this 905 team, "We have a lot of scorers this year. We had a lot of defenders last year. Just trying to figure out how to take that defensive mindset we had last year and bring it to this offensive minded team."

There is tremendous potential with this Raptors 905 team, however, it's just about putting that all together, which takes time. There isn't much time before they get into action as they will play a 16-game Showcase Cup tournament beginning Nov. 5th when they travel to Washington D.C to take on the Capital City Go-Go. Afterwards their home opener is on Nov. 10th against the Westchester Knicks at 7:30 PM ET.