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We are the champions! Fans revel in Raptors glory (14 photos)

Toronto Raptors superfans from Bradford West Gwillimbury relieved and overjoyed at NBA Finals victory

With seconds to go, and then a few more seconds to go, when the buzzer went off in Thursday night’s NBA Finals, clinching the title for the Toronto Raptors for the first time ever, local superfans said they were overwhelmed with relief and happiness.

Cathy and Justin Boudreau, who live in Cookstown but grew up in Bradford West Gwillimbury, watched the game with their two sons at home — their own mini Jurassic Park.

“The game was so close. It was taking absolutely the longest time. It was waiting, waiting, waiting. Finally, the horn sounded, and we all flew out of our seats and embraced each other,” said Justin.

And then their 14 year old son, Evan, popped a confetti canon that exploded all over their living room.

“It was really messy,” Justin said on Friday, with a laugh.

The family’s friends from the next street over banged on their door to come in and celebrate with them, and they walked into a confetti-covered house.

“It was stuck to the ceiling, all over the carpet. It looked like a massive party had just happened,” Justin said.

The Raptors winning its first-ever NBA championship 114-110 against the Golden State Warriors was huge for Justin and Cathy, who have been fans since the club started.

The pair have been to a bunch of regular and playoff Raptors games over the years, including this season’s Eastern Conference Finals and Game 2 of this final series against the Warriors.

Cathy, along with her cousin, also made it to Game 5, when the Raptors heartbreakingly lost against the Warriors, just one point away from winning the championship on home turf.

“The arena — I’ve never heard it as loud as that game,” Cathy said. “The national anthem was emotional. Everyone was singing in the arena.”

While she was inside the arena, Justin and their sons were outside in Jurassic Park. The crowds were so massive, the closest they could get to Scotiabank Arena was 10 minutes away near the CN Tower, said Justin.

Despite the crowds, he said there was a "beautiful, positive energy about it."

"When we went up by six points at the end of the game, the crowd started to bounce," he said. "It was so much beautiful Raptors energy. The city was ready to explode."

Now that Game 6 is done and the Raptors have its historic win, Cathy said she is relieved it is over.

“My nerves were just getting the best of me. I didn’t feel well all day. I was just hoping they could pull it off,” she said. “That was a really stressful game. You could just see the Warriors weren’t ready to hang up the towel.”

But when the buzzer went off, Cathy said she cried, then laughed, and “kind of soaked it all in.”

“Part of me was thinking, ‘This was not real,’” she said. “I have plans to be at the parade. I’m really looking forward to celebrating on Monday.”


Jenni Dunning

About the Author: Jenni Dunning

Jenni Dunning is a community editor and reporter who covers news in the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury.
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