NewsPasco County


St. Leo University ready to host NBA's Raptors for training camp

Posted at 5:07 PM, Dec 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 17:07:16-05

ST. LEO, Fla. — St. Leo University is all set to host a training camp for the Toronto Raptors.

It turns out St. Leo's basketball coach Lance Randall's friendship with Raptors coach Nick Nurse goes back 20 years when both coached in Europe.

Raptors officials visited the small campus near Dade City and liked what they saw.

"We have a unique setting. I think we fit with what a head coach would want for a training camp. We are a little bit sequestered, but we are close. Thirty minutes to downtown Tampa," said Randall.

School officials say they've been very strict in following health guidelines and, because of that, managed to maintain a relatively low number of COVID-19 cases.

St. Leo is one of the largest Catholic universities in the nation, founded in 1889 by Benedictine Monks.

"I'm like Saint Leo out of everybody? We are in a remote location. I'd expect Tampa or in the city or something," said student Brianna Lennox.

Saint Leo's basketball team will move its last few practices of the year off-site to make room for the Raptors, who Coach Randall says is a perfect match for the school.

"We are a world-class educational institution. We are just a gem out here. I think the connection to tie in our brands together is great for the university."

St. Leo officials wouldn't' tell us the financial terms of their agreement to host the Raptors training camp.

All practices will be closed to the public, and building access restricted to just a few university employees.