DFO partners with Ontario Basketball Association to recognize outstanding athletes with new award


The Ontario Basketball Association (OBA) and Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) have come together to shine a light on some incredibly deserving young basketball athletes in the province and their contributions on and off the court. The revised partnership allows us to highlight the personalities and achievements of eight young basketball players, and provide opportunities to help them succeed as they work to achieve their hoop dreams.

Funding from DFO partner enabled OBA to create the OBA Nav Bhatia Community Athlete Award, in recognition of the impact the Naismith Memorial Hall of Famer has had in representing the diversity and passion of the basketball community in this province.

“DFO is happy to partner with the Ontario Basketball Association as part of our MilkUp program, which was created with youth success in mind. Under the MilkUP brand, we commit to providing a meaningful, measurable and enduring effect on youth sports and highlight the benefits of milk in a healthy, active lifestyle at all ages and skill levels,” said Cheryl Smith, CEO of Dairy Farmers of Ontario. “The creation of the OBA Nav Bhatia Community Athlete Award reflects the value we share in supporting youth to achieve their full potential.

Partnering with the OBA allows us to recognize these outstanding athletes and their contributions to their communities. Every dollar that goes into this program represents direct investment from a real person – a dairy farmer – and we are very proud of the support we provide to youth activity and opportunity, where they live and work.”

In May 2021 Nav Bhatia became the first-ever fan inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. The most recognizable superfan on the sidelines, Nav has attended every Raptors game since the inception of the franchise in 1995, becoming an icon in his courtside seats and taking pride in his team while celebrating the culture and the people involved in the game he loves.

“We would like to thank DFO for their continued support to the basketball community in these unprecedented times when our young athletes need it the most in order to reach their full potential,” said Claude Nembhard, Executive Director of Ontario Basketball. “Our shared values in promoting a healthy, active lifestyle will help us highlight some of the amazing young people who participate in Ontario Basketball’s programs and help them achieve their post-secondary goals and inspire lifelong success both on and off the court.”

The OBA Nav Bhatia Community Athlete Award will be presented to two male and two female student athletes who have participated in OBA programs and have committed to a Canadian post-secondary basketball program. Selection will be made based on their commitment on the court, in the classroom and in their communities. Each winner will receive a bursary of $5,000 on behalf of Nav Bhatia from DFO.

Read more in the press release here: https://basketball.on.ca/ontario-basketball-dairy-farmers-ontario-team-recognize-outstanding-athletes-oba-nav-bhatia-community-athlete-award/

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