Toronto Raptors expected to train at FGCU’s Alico Arena for NBA season restart

Published: June 16, 2020 10:21 PM EDT
Updated: June 17, 2020 5:14 PM EDT

The defending NBA champions are coming to Southwest Florida to get back into shape to resume the NBA season after it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Sports Illustrated and other major sources, the Toronto Raptors are expected to travel to Florida and train at Alico Arena on the FGCU’s campus. The bad news: No fans will be allowed to attend the player training camp.

The NBA has advised players to return to their home market to begin the first phases of the season restart. Meanwhile, the Raptors will travel directly to the Florida, where the league is expected to resume. And ahead of going to Disney, the Raptors will be in Southwest Florida.

If everything works out, Kyle Lowry and hi teammates will arrive in Lee County Tuesday, according to The Athletic.

The Raptors are the only NBA team not reporting to their home city for the start of training camp because of border restrictions in place between Canada and the United States.

ESPN reports the league sent the players a 100-page document breaking down what life will be like. That includes what will happen if someone with an NBA organization — player or staff — tests positive for COVID-19.

First, a player or staff member will be placed in “isolation housing”, which will be a house or hotel away from everyone else.

Only after an individual “tests negative twice in a span of more than 24 hours” will they be allowed to leave isolation.

Players “will not be forced to quarantine,” but they will have to wait for a “two-week period to pass” before undergoing a cardiac screening in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Toronto is allowed to bring a travel party of 37 people, including 15 to 17 players.

The league strongly suggests each team bring a mental health professional.

FGCU Connections

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is married to Roberta Santos, a former FGCU volleyball player. We reached out to Nick and Roberta, who also have a home in this area, but no luck.

And FGCU’s assistant strength and conditioning coordinator for basketball, Travis Wallace, worked as the personal strength coach for Raptors star Kyle Lowry.

The Raptors are expected to be in Southwest Florida through the first week of July when they will join 21 other NBA teams at Walt Disney Resort for a brief training camp, followed by games and then the playoffs.

MORE: Everything you need to know about the 2019-20 NBA season restart