The Toronto Raptors’ historic playoffs run and subsequent NBA championship brought Canadians together from coast to coast to coast.
And there was no better example than this iconic video of seniors in a Saskatoon retirement home playing basketball and spraying champagne to celebrate and get into the Raptors spirit.
The video, posted to the Preston Park 2 Facebook page, shows the residents — who are decked out in Raptors colours — shooting hoops into baskets held by staff and dribbling basketballs around the residence.
One of the seniors, identified in the posts as Glenna G, was reportedly a two-time Canadian basketball champion. She wore her 1955 captain crest from her time on the Adilman Aces to celebrate the Raptors.
″[Glenna] says basketball has changed over the years. Back in her day there were no three-point shots, and there was more contact. She was known as the hip-checker of the team,” Karen Waldner, the residence’s lifestyle director told HuffPost Canada via email.
Another unforgettable moment shows two men at the residence — 92-year-old Jim and his pal Norm, who is almost 89 — shaking up champagne while wearing goggles and spraying each other, all the while chanting “Raptors! Raptors! Raptors!” They both take some solid swigs from the bottles too.
“I usually drink my champagne, not wear it, but sometimes the occasion calls for it,” Jim told HuffPost Canada via the email from Waldner.
Waldner said many of the seniors at Preston Park 2 are very passionate about sports, so groups would gather during the NBA playoffs to watch the Raptors. As the team moved closer to the finals, the residents’ enthusiasm and Canadian pride grew, and more seniors joined the watch parties and discussions.
As part of the victory celebration, the residents discussed the history of basketball and participated in a “free throw challenge” with peach baskets — kind of like the ones used when the sport was first invented by James Naismith.
With the great success of their Raptors-themed activities, the residence is adding basketball to its wellness calendar permanently.
Waldner said that 200 seniors live at Preston Park 2, and that services aim to preserve the independence of all residents.
This isn’t the first time Preston Park 2′s activities have caught attention. the residents learned how to “floss” in a pretty incredible video in 2018.
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We should all aspire to be half as cool as Preston Park 2’s residents when we’re older.
Live like a champion, indeed.