Because Dalano Banton is fulfilling a Raptors prophecy
The Rexdale-bred rookie is the team’s first Canadian draft pick
During Chris Bosh’s mid-2000s stint with the Raptors, the all-star helped open and refurbish a handful of basketball courts across Toronto, hoping to inspire a new generation to get into the game. One of those kids was Dalano Banton, who fantasized about making it to the NBA as he honed his crossover and jumper on a Bosh-backed court in Rexdale. That dream came true last summer, when Banton became the Raptors’ first Canadian draft pick. His love for Toronto is so unabashed that he makes Drake look like a tourist. He wears number 45 as an homage to the Kipling bus he used to ride, he regularly rocks the local streetwear brand In Your City, and—because it’s 2022—he even partnered with a Toronto crypto company to release an NFT of himself as a raccoon. Now, Banton is becoming the type of hero that Bosh was to him. In him, the city’s budding young ballers have a player of their own to look up to, living proof that a kid from Rexdale can make it to the big leagues.