(MISSISSAUGA, ON) – NBL Canada has announced that the Mississauga Power will join the Toronto Raptors organization and operate as a NBA D-League team for the 2015-2016 season. Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) acquired the rights of the Power to form a new club to be called the Raptors 905.
Raptors 905 will be the record 19th NBA D-League team and will play its home games at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga.
“As an investor and an avid basketball fan I’ve always wanted to contribute to the growth of the game in Canada,” said Henry Chow, Owner and President of the now-former Mississauga Power. “When I became sole owner of the Power and moved the team to Mississauga it was with the vision that pro basketball would be a success in such a wonderful, prosperous market and I’m thrilled to have achieved that goal.”
The announcement means that the Power organization, which was one of original seven teams that played during the league’s inaugural season, will no longer operate under NBL Canada.
“On behalf of the NBL Canada, we are excited that one of our franchises and key personnel will be joining the Raptors organization as they expand basketball further into Canada with the first NBA D-League team outside of the USA,” said NBL Canada Commissioner David Magley. “This move is consistent with our shared objective of growing the game of basketball throughout all of Canada.”
The acquisition of the Power immediately creates new collaborative opportunities between NBL Canada and MLSE.
“We’ve been speaking with Commissioner Magley and we’re definitely going to have a partnership in place whether it’s clinics or scrimmages where we can grow the game together in Mississauga,” Toronto Raptors vice president of basketball strategy Bobby Webster said.
MLSE worked closely with the City of Mississauga and NBL Canada to build on the success of the now-former Mississauga Power in an effort to elevate professional basketball in a market of 3.4 million residents, including 752,000 in Mississauga; the sixth most populous municipality in Canada.