One shot was all the Raptors needed to win their first championship title on Monday. When Kyle Lowry missed his 3-pointer, Toronto native and new Rockford resident Jen Wubbels was heartbroken.
“Oh, it was so disappointing,” Wubbels said. “It would’ve been nice to see him pull it off. It was kind of one of those shots where you’re like ‘Oh man, if he would’ve gotten it, it would’ve been so amazing.”
The Raptors fan experienced the heartbreak alongside Stateline residents at Monday’s Jurassic Park Rockford watch party, where she says it was like being back home.
“There were so many people and it was really cool that you could kind of feel the energy of everybody and feel the excitement in the air,” Wubbels said. “It was cool to be away from home but kind of have a sense of home with everybody’s excitement and support of the Raptors.”
Wubbels says her love for the Raptors began when she was young.
“My family’s got a history of involvement with basketball so I’ve always kind of been like a sideline fan of them and followed them over the years,” Wubbels said.
On top of the Raptors fandom, Wubbels appreciates how much love Rockford has for their hometown hero, Fred VanVleet.
“It’s been really cool to come here and see in person how much of an impact he has on the community here,” Wubbels said.
And yes, Wubbels says contrary to some Raptors fans cheering on KD rupturing his Achilles Monday night, Canadians were embarrassed.
“I think that their emotions were just so high, but Canadians really do pride themselves on being kind and nice to people so I think a lot of Canadians felt really disappointed that the fans reacted that way initially,” Wubbels said. “I know that Canadians really wish that Durant has a full recovery and that he can get back in the game.”
As much as the Warriors want to win for KD now, Wubbels says she thinks the Raptors have just as much to fight for and winning it all would mean more to Canadians than people realize.
“To be here when they win would be awesome and this would mean so much for Canada and for Rockford so it’d be pretty exciting,” Wubbels said.