Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry on Toronto Raptors winning NBA title: 'Will, determination, and teamwork demanded that you be champions'

YouTube download / AP video / Thousands in Toronto cheered on the Raptors, who won their first NBA championship on Thursday night. The Raptors defeated the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors 114-110 on Thursday in Oakland, in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. Shown above is the Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. Shown below is Vince Carter, of Daytona Beach, who started his NBA career with the Toronto Raptors. (June 14)
 
Vince Carter of Daytona Beach, FL started his NBA career with the Raptors / Headline SurferBy HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Like millions of NBA fans across the US, and indeed throughout Canada as well, Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry was glued to the ABC TV broadcast that had the Toronto Raptors prevail over the Golden State Warriors for the league championship.

Congratulations to the Toronto Raptors," Henry posted on his Facebook page after the Raptors won in six games with a 114-110 victory to take the series 4 games to 2 in the best of seven series.

The mayor was so excited about the finals, he was actually hoping the Raptors would have lost so they could win game 7 back home in Toronto.

But Henry recognized Toronto, led by Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, was just too strong for the injury depleted Warriors with Kevin Durant's attempted comeback in the fifth game short-lived by an achilles tendon rupture, and by Klay Thompson's torn ACL in his right knee in the third quarter of game 6.

"Your will, determination, and teamwork demanded that you be champions," Henry said of the Raptors, the 2019 NBA champions for the first time in the 25-year history of the Canadian franchise.

Henry's affection for Toronto winning the NBA championship Thursday night hearkens back to NBA great Vince Carter who he helped guide as an assistant coach with Mainland High in 1995, when the school won a state title and Carter was named a McDonald's All American. That was before Carter was starring in college for the North Carolina Tarheels and eventually making his way to the NBA and the Toronto Raptors where he was almost immediately recognized as the best dunker with names likes "Air Canada" and "Vinsanity."

Henry said his rooting for the Raptors in the NBA Finals definitely goes "back to Vince Carter who I think more than any person is responsible for popularizing the game in Canada."

Daytona Mayor Derrick Henry rooted for the Toronto Raptors / Headline SurferDaytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry's affection for Toronto winning the NBA championship Thursday night hearkens back to NBA great Vince Carter who he helped guide as an assistant coach with Mainland High in 1995, when the school won a state title and Carter was named a McDonald's All American.

That was before Carter was starring in college for the North Carolina Tarheels and eventually making his way to the NBA and the Toronto Raptors where he was almost immediately recognized as the best dunker with names likes "Air Canada" and "Vinsanity."

Henry said his rooting for the Raptors in the NBA Finals definitely goes "back to Vince Carter who I think more than any person is responsible for popularizing the game in Canada."

Carter was drafted initially by the Golden State Warriors with the fifth overall pick in the 1998 NBA draft. He was then traded to the Toronto Raptors for the fourth overall pick, Antwan Jamison, his college teammate. Carter played for Toronto from 1998 to 2004. It was during his early years in Toronto that Carter won the 1999 NBA Rookie of the Year Award and he won the Slam Dunk Contest at the 2000 NBA All-Star Weekend. 

In December 2004, Carter was traded to the New Jersey Nets. An eight-time NBA All-Star, Carter also played for the Orlando Magic, the Phoenix Suns, the Dallas Mavericks, the Memphis Grizzlies, the Sacramento Kings, and the Atlanta Hawks.

An unrestricted free agent, Carter announced at the end of the 2019 regular season that he would return for a record 21st and final season season in the NBA. 

Carter, who attended the Finals series as an ESPN pre-game analyst, tweeted congrats to the Raptors on winning the NBA championship: "Wow Raptors, unbelievable accomplishment. So proud and way to get it done!!!"

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Posted: June 14, 2019
 
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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.