Windsor’s Raptors tribute has a new home (VIDEO)

The "We the North" flag that flew over Charles Clark Square in Windsor during the NBA Finals is turned over to St. Clair College at the SportsPlex, June 18, 2019. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

It flew proudly over Windsor. Now it will be displayed proudly at St. Clair College.

The “We the North” flag which flew over Windsor’s Charles Clark Square during the NBA Finals this year has a new home, as organizers for the downtown viewing parties of Toronto Raptors’ Finals games formally turned the banner over to St. Clair College, in appreciation for the college’s sponsorship and assistance in making the viewing parties happen. The flag was unfurled in a short ceremony Tuesday afternoon at the SportsPlex on the main Windsor campus.

Renaldo Agostino, the Windsor businessman who organized the four viewing events in Charles Clark Square, helped hand the flag over to the college. Agostino told that it was St. Clair College that provided the most enthusiastic support outside of the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association (DWBIA). Along with his brother Remo, he saw firsthand the happiness on the faces of Raptors fans as they celebrated downtown after the Game 6 clincher, and noticed many of them were young people from outside of Canada.

“My brother and I and Pat [Papadeas] took five minutes to walk down to Ouellette Avenue just to see the people celebrating,” said Agostino. “Just to see all these kids, especially the foreign kids, many of whom are students here, just to see those foreign students really getting a taste of what it’s like to be in Canada, really meant a lot to me.”

Agostino said a total of 13,000 people attended the four games in the square. He decided after the Finals ended to give the flag to the college, and it was arranged through Papadeas, who teaches law at the college and serves as a DWBIA board member. Now, according to the college’s Ron Seguin, they must decide exactly where in the SportsPlex to put it.

“We’re going to dress it up and not only make sure the flag hangs but also a description of what went on in the two weeks this spring,” said Seguin, the vice-president of campus development. “It’ll be a memory piece, and we’ll find the right spot in this facility.”

The Raptors beat the favoured Golden State Warriors in six games to take their first-ever NBA title. It was the first professional title for Toronto in a “big-four” sport since the Blue Jays won their second World Series in a row in 1993.