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NBA: Toronto Raptors win with diversity, starting from the top

Updated 1146 GMT (1946 HKT) March 31, 2016
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Toronto Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia receives the game ball from Piccolo the Elephant as part of the annual Baisakhi Day celebration of the Sikh New Year hosted by the team at the Air Canada Centre. Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images
Raptors president and GM Masai Ujiri -- who was born in Nigeria -- relishes his role as the leader of a diverse team, and says the NBA will eventually feature many Africa-born players. He is pictured at the Basketball Without Borders Africa camp in Johannesburg, South Africa, June 2015. Gallo Images/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Rap star Drake -- a Toronto native and big Raptors fan -- hosts an annual Drake night at the Air Canada Centre. He is seen cheering on the team in a 2014 first-round playoff game against the Brooklyn Nets. Claus Andersen/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Argentinian Luis Scola of the Toronto Raptors has enjoyed life in Canada with his wife and four kids. "You get to know different people, speak different languages, you get to know a new country, the history, the culture, a new city. You get to know a lot of new places, exciting places," he told the Toronto Star. Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Guard DeMar DeRozan (#10) is one of two Toronto Raptors to make an All-Star appearance, along with Kyle Lowry. The backcourt mates will be gunning for All-Star spots when Toronto hosts the exhibition game in February. Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Traditionally the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs have been the hot ticket in town, with regular sellouts over the decades. But a new wave of immigrants have gravitated to the more accessible Raptors of the NBA. Claus Andersen/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Toronto sports fans exulted when Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays threw his bat after hitting a home run to win game five of the American League Division Series last October. Toronto lost in the next round, however, to the Kansas City Royals, depriving the city of hosting its first World Series since 1993. "This city is just dying for a winner," says Raptors GM Ujiri. Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Brazilian player Lucas Nogueira says living in the international hub of Toronto offers advantages over other NBA cities, including Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Philadelphia. Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Nogueira's teammate Bruno Caboclo has found a home with Toronto's large Brazilian community, eating food from his home country three times a week. Nick Laham/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Raptors center Bismack Biyombo (#8), who was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, says that despite the weather, moving from Charlotte to Toronto was an easy transition for him. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Lithuanian Jonas Valanciunas (#17) is one of seven non-Americans on the Raptors' roster -- leading the NBA for international players. Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images North America/Getty Images