Cody Punter/Reuters

We the (true) North

What Raptors fever looked like in a Nunavut town

Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, may be a hockey town—the hamlet is the hometown of recently retired NHL player Jordin Tootoo—but for a moment in June it caught We the North fever along with the entire country. Pictured here, Rankin Inlet youth play basketball by the light of the setting sun, around 11 p.m. one night during the NBA Finals. David Clark, the community’s recreation coordinator, recalls playing on this very court as a teen until 2 or 3 a.m. most summer nights, still a normal occurrence among local teenagers. He says Rankin Inlet is enchanted by the Raptors’ historic championship run, and thinks this popular court, where kids try to recreate Kawhi Leonard’s electrifying Game 7 buzzer-beater, may grow even busier as a result. As for the Raptors’ We the North claim? “I think some people [in Rankin Inlet] get a kick out of it,” says Clark. “Those of us from the true north were definitely excited about it, just like the rest of Canada.”

This article appears in print as The Big Picture in the August 2019 issue of Maclean’s magazine with the headline, “We the (true) North.” Subscribe to the monthly print magazine here.