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Interest in basketball takes off in Saskatoon

WATCH ABOVE: Interest in basketball grows in Saskatoon due to the success of the Toronto Raptors.

The technical director and coach of Greenwave United Basketball, located in Saskatoon, says more kids have been signing up for his elite training programs with the Toronto Raptors playing for the NBA championship.

“Man, it’s been explosive. Basketball has grown in Canada. It has been growing for a while,” Sean Tyson said on Monday.

READ MORE: Raptors fans get free tickets to Game 5 after camping outside Jurassic Park for 2 days

“The Raptors getting to the finals and having a chance to make history is one of those things that the whole country is buzzed about right now.”

Olympian Sports is capitalizing from that buzz.

The City Centre location has seen 30 to 40 per cent more revenue from Raptors merchandise sales compared to previous years.

It is something that pumps up sales associate Matt Morrison when he sees fans wearing red and black at viewing parties or at bars.

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“Especially when I see that person specifically in the store earlier that day – just knowing that we’re one of the only places that does sell Raptors gear in the city – it’s awesome to see,” he said.

Tyson was already noticing higher registration numbers for Greenwave with the inaugural season for the Saskatoon Rattlers of the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL).

“It has just sparked a lot of energy amongst the kids, amongst the community. It’s great for the kids to get out and see another level of basketball beyond the university level and see that there’s a chance that this could inspire them,” Tyson said.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan Rattlers show off 1st set of jerseys

He believes the Raptors will clinch the finals and is excited to see more Saskatchewan kids pursue their hoop dreams.

Saskatoon police have put out additional resources Monday to make sure everyone has a safe and secure experience watching Game 5 at the Civic Centre.

Police are asking the public to act responsibly.

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