Drake And Kyle Lowry Appear At WNBA’s Toronto Expansion Team Launch Event

The WNBA traveled to Toronto this week to expand its empire, and was treated to special guest appearances. Drake and former Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry were in the building to celebrate the momentous occasion.

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert announced that the league’s 14th team will be housed in the popular Canadian city during the launch event. Larry Tanenbaum, the Chairman of Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment, listed multiple current W athletes as sources of inspiration for women who will be vying for opportunities to play for the new Toronto team: the Las Vegas Aces two-time MVP A’ja Wilson, the Phoenix Mercury’s three-time champion Diana Taurasi, the New York Liberty’s reigning MVP Breanna Stewart, and the Los Angeles Sparks’ All-Star guard Kia Nurse, who is originally from Canada.

“They can see that the sport they play as girls and as women is just as important and worth investing in, because the more we all recognize the value and potential in women’s sports, the closer we get to a more equitable future in the world of sports,” he said. “So today we’re here because today, once again, we were in the right place at the right time. And that’s entirely because of the talent, hard work, and perseverance of many women in this room today.”

The celebrations didn’t end there. Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow joined the launch event to proclaim that May 23rd would forever be recognized as WNBA Day in the city. Masai Ujiri, the current President of the Toronto Raptors, also appeared at the event to show his support.

Drake, Kyle Lowry, and Ujiri’s presence may bring good luck to the future team, as they were all active contributors in the Raptors’ 2019 championship run. The 6 God wasn’t an active member of the roster, but was regularly on the sidelines cheering on players and antagonizing their opponents.

This announcement comes just one week after the latest WNBA expansion team, the Golden State Valkyries, revealed their official name and logo. Kehlani handled the voiceover work for the promotional video, saying “Born from the Bay, gilded in gold. This is where legends take flight, but our story has yet to be written.”

“Let’s go @valkyries,” Kehlani wrote in the caption of their Instagram post. “TEAM US! WNBA TO THE WORLD! Wowed at what happens when people come together to demand equality, expansion & LOVE! GIRL POWER FR.”

The 2024 WNBA season is off to an exciting start. The New York Liberty sits atop the league with a 4-0 record, followed by fellow undefeated teams the Connecticut Sun and Minnesota Lynx, who are 3-0 and 2-0 respectively. The defending champion Las Vegas Aces started the season 2-0 before suffering a 10-point loss to the Phoenix Mercury this past Tuesday evening (May 21).

All eyes have been on the Indiana Fever’s No. 1 draft pick Caitlin Clark, who is averaging 17.8 points, 5.8 assists, and 4.6 rebounds through five games. The Fever have yet to win a game this season, but have come close in their last two bouts against the Seattle Storm and Connecticut Sun.

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