Jamaal Magloire envisions robust Pan Am Games...
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Jul 05, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

Jamaal Magloire envisions robust Pan Am Games legacy

“Sports that don’t otherwise get acknowledged or accepted get an opportunity to grow,” the former Raptor said on Sunday


Jamaal Magloire sees a future now that he never imagined as kid growing up in Toronto.

He sees facilities and familiarity and the chance at an experience to spur kids in the Pan Am Games that begin Friday night.

“Sports that don’t otherwise get acknowledged or accepted get an opportunity to grow,” Magloire said at a Games news conference Sunday morning. “Once the Games come and go, there’s going to be a lot more facilities for all kinds of sports we didn’t otherwise have.

“It’s going to give kids a chance to dream, a chance to have goals. Whether it’s water polo or any of the sports that don’t otherwise get acknowledged like basketball or soccer . . . there’s a chance to dream and a chance to go further.

“For a long time we’ve needed facilities in our country, and I think now in the GTA we have that and I’m looking forward to the kids having an outlet after the Games to work and to get better and to grow.”

Magloire will be part of the Games’ torch relay Monday in Toronto (“an extreme honour,” he called it), one of the 3,000-plus torchbearers whose 41-day relay winds up on Friday.

The current basketball development assistant coach and community ambassador for the Raptors has seen first-hand how the introduction of high-level sport can be an impetus for kids to strive for something.

His may be one of the more popular and familiar sports in the Pan Am Games but there are similarities.

“This is not only about the world-class athletes, it’s about the legacy that’s going to be left after,” he said. “Just like the Toronto Raptors in 1995, our first year of existence built something for young kids coming up.

“Back in 1993, I was in high school and there wasn’t a Toronto Raptors, so everything I learned was the hard way. Once they came, now we get an influx of young talented athletes that will play at the Pan Am Games . . . that can happen (in other sports).”

Games officials said Sunday ticket sales have now topped 750,000 of the estimated 1.4 million available. They also announced the new blocks of seats to events thought to be sold out — the opening ceremonies, basketball, diving, track and field and soccer — will be released for purchase Monday.

Toronto Star

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