Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia honoured by Basketball Hall of Fame

Businessman who immigrated from India has attended almost every home game

Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia has been honoured by the Basketball Hall of Fame, ahead of National Basketball Association's all-star festivities.

Bhatia, a Toronto-area businessman and philanthropist who immigrated to Canada from India in 1984, has attended almost every single home game — and many road games — in the team's quarter-century existence.

On Friday, he became one of the first honourees of a new superfan gallery, along with the late actor and director Penny Marshall.

"You are a super fan," Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo told Bhatia on Friday.

"I want to say thank you for being who you are and thank you for being a part of the Hall of Fame. And I want to congratulate you for for all of that."

Bhatia said the honour was beyond his wildest dreams. 

"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...

"First the championship for the Raptors, then the grand marshal for the biggest parade, then the ring, and now this - which is not even dreamable. You can not dream being in the hall of fame! ... This is so unreal, I'm humbled by this, I'm still in shock, 

..."It is the best game on this earth. Two and a half hours. You're in a different zone. You don't even remember your wife or anybody else, [or] all the stress," he told CBC News this year.

"This was my love at first sight."

And it wasn't just the game.

"It's the most diverse crowd in the NBA," Bhatia said of Raptor fans. 

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