Nav Bhatia to be among first 'superfans' honored in basketball HOF

Nav Bhatia, not Vince Carter or Kyle Lowry, will be the first Toronto Raptors legend enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame. (Getty)

Nav Bhatia continues to go where no superfan has gone before.

The Toronto Raptors’ sideline staple — arguably the most recognizable “non-celebrity” supporter in basketball — became the first superfan to be given a championship ring last spring. Now, he’ll become one of the first to be enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

“Can’t say this is a dream come true because this isn’t something you dream about as a fan. To be honoured into the [Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame] as the first honouree into the Superfan Gallery. What an incredible day. Don’t wake me up please.”

Bhatia will be honoured into the Hall’s new “Superfan Gallery” as part of its inaugural class, alongside actress and director Penny Marshall, who passed away last year.

Naturally, Nav was over the moon with the honor and couldn’t wipe the smile off his face as he made the media rounds on Friday.

A Toronto-area businessman, Bhatia is an active philanthropist who immigrated to Canada from India in 1984 and has attended almost every single home game since the team’s first season. Bhatia said this honor was more than he could’ve possibly ever dreamt of. 

"Me being in the presence of such great basketball talent in the world right here, this is so unreal ... I'm still in shock and that's why I'm accepting this on behalf of not just the Toronto fans, Raptors fans, but all the fans, basketball fans and the NBA fans all over the world. I want to thank you," he said.

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