Raptors head coach Nick Nurse hopes to leave a legacy in Toronto that goes far beyond basketball.
He officially launched the Nick Nurse Foundation, a charity that will help implement basketball, literacy and music programs for children around the city, on Wednesday night. Nurse performed with Hamilton-based rock band the Arkells at the charity’s launch event with several members of the Raptors in attendance.
“If we could link all those things together, I think we can provide a really neat flow within the music community here, keep teachers teaching, keep instruments turning over, and all those kind of things that I think would be cool,” said Nurse. “One of my goals would be to get these kids to get together and form their own bands and get to go out in front of people and show people what they’ve been working on.
“I just think that then that leads to a whole ‘nother self image, self confidence, a whole ‘nother realm of what they could possibly achieve when they get older.”
Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol, Norm Powell, Terence Davis, Matt Thomas, Chris Boucher and Malcolm Miller were all in attendance as Nurse played with the Arkells.
It’s not the first time Nurse has collaborated with the Arkells. He also played “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” at Toronto’s BudStage with them this past summer. Nurse then appeared in a promotional video announcing an Arkells concert at Hamilton’s Tim Hortons Field.
Nurse was happy to continue that relationship on Wednesday.
“I think it’s part of my musical journey a little bit, and just increases some of the neat things that I’ve gotten to do musically,” said Nurse. “I just think that the event tonight is going to be amazing. We’ve got a lot of great performers in here, and we just want it to be super enjoyable. We want it to be something that people want to come to.”