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Triano named honorary chair for 2012 CIS Final 8

Toronto Raptors head coach Jay Triano walks the floor as his team plays the Miami Heat during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Toronto, April 13, 2011.

Mark Blinch/Reuters

Former Toronto Raptors head coach Jay Triano has been named the honorary chair for the 2012 CIS Final 8 men's basketball championship to be played in Halifax next month.

The Final 8 organizing committee said it was pleased to recognize Triano as an individual who is "fundamentally connected" to the growth of basketball in Canada.

"It's always been near and dear to my heart," Triano said of the championship, to be played March 9-11 at the Halifax Convention Centre.

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"It is the epitome of what our collegiate athletes try to do - to win the CIS national championship."

Triano logged 11 years on the Canadian national team and three trips to the Olympics following a collegiate playing career at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.

The Niagara Falls, Ont., native would later coach both the Canadian men's national team from 1998-2004 before moving on to become the first Canadian-born, Canadian-trained coach in the NBA when he joined the Raptors in 2002, serving as head coach from 2008-2001.

Triano was relieved of his coaching duties in December and he is currently the club's vice-president, pro scouting.

The Raptors are preparing to play the Boston Celtics Friday night at the Air Canada Centre, looking to snap a three-game losing streak.

They will have to do so without the services of guard Jerryd Bayless.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey said that Bayless will not be able to play because of a sore ankle.

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