Croatian Community Night celebrated by NBA’s Raptors in Toronto or was it the Buffalo Bills?

24sata Croatian News Article


Over 700 fans took part in “Croatian Community Night” in Toronto on Friday, January 26, wearing traditional red and white checkers and jerseys and showing off their Croatian pride and supporting the Toronto Raptors against the LA Clippers.

In a memorable celebration of Croatian heritage, the event, which was co-hosted by the Canadian-Croatian Chamber of Commerce, MLSE and the Toronto Raptors, was attended by both younger and older generations, families, friends and members of the Croatian-Canadian community.

It was with sincere regret that Ivica Zubac was unable to join us for the post-game event.  Due to a calf strain injury which will be re-evaluated in several weeks time, he was not travelling with the LA Clippers but we look forward to seeing him back on the court soon.

Following the 127-107 victory by the LA Clippers, we were expecting to be joined by Toronto Raptor Jontay Porter for the post-game event, however, he left during the game to go to the hospital to tend to an eye injury.

Fortunately a few members of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills were enjoying a night out at the game and graciously agreed to join our community gathering and participate in our post-game event.

Croatian fans were treated with introductions to Spencer Brown (#79), Tommy Doyle (#72), Ryan Van Demark (#74) and Dalton Kincaid (#86).  The Bills players showed great sportsmanship and generously spent time with us to learn a little about Croatia and our incredible Croatian spirt and community as they joined in with a “Mi Hrvati” chant.

The event concluded, yet again with a group photo, symbolizing the unity and pride of Croatian Heritage Night – but this time with the Buffalo Bills!

Special thanks to all those who attended, including notably Vice Skračić, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia in Canada, Ante Jović, the Consul General of the Republic of Croatia in Mississauga, Walter Sudetic, the MLSE, the Toronto Raptors, with a special mention to Michelle Mlinaric (MLSE) who helped coordinate the event.