‘Superfan’ Nav Bhatia, in isolation, misses 1st ever Raptors home game

December 11, 2021
'Superfan' Nav Bhatia, in isolation, misses 1st ever Raptors home game

Friday night’s Toronto Raptors game was notable for who wasn’t in attendance.

The Raptors’ COVID-19 scare kept “superfan” Nav Bhatia from Toronto’s game against the New York Knicks.

It’s the first home game he’s missed since the Toronto franchise joined the NBA in 1995.

Bhatia had attended Masai Ujiri’s Giants of Africa gala event on Sunday night. On Wednesday, Ujiri, the team’s vice-chairman and president, announced he’d tested positive for COVID-19.

Bhatia said he’s following a Toronto Public Health request that everyone in attendance at the event isolate, calling it an “incredible event that followed all protocols,” and that he wasn’t experiencing symptoms.

He posted the news that he’d be missing the game on his Instagram account, telling Raptors fans: “I have been there for you and our team since Day 1. Tonight I need you to help me.”

“My heart is breaking right now and all 19,800 of you in the arena are the only ones that can help,” Bhatia wrote. “I need two things from you. 1) Cheer as loud as you can for our team! I will be from home yelling and screaming as well!

2) Take good care of my friend Kal Penn. I want you all to show him why this is the best fanbase in the league and give him a lot of love tonight.”

Penn, an actor who will play the part of Bhatia in an upcoming movie about the mega-fan, sat in Bhatia’s seat along the baseline.

The Raptors cancelled practice on Thursday out of “an abundance of caution” after Ujiri’s positive test result.

WATCH | Nav Bhatia discusses his new documentary:

Raptors’ Superfan Nav Bhatia on his new documentary, and sharing his journey with Canadians

Jacqueline Doorey connects with Toronto Raptors Superfan Nav Bhatia on his new documentary coming to CBC Gem, and his journey to becoming one of the most recognizable basketball fans in the world. 4:37

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