Sarah McLachlan was a season ticket holder for the Vancouver Grizzlies when the NBA team played on Canada’s West Coast.
The team would only last six seasons in Vancouver — but now McLachlan, the Canadian singer-songwriter behind hits such as “Silence” and “Angel,” has played a key role as the Toronto Raptors reach Game 6 of the NBA finals.
McLachlan sang the Canadian national anthem at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. as the Raptors prepared to face the Golden State Warriors in a game that could see a Canadian team secure the NBA title for the first time.
“The entire country is all over this,” McLachlan told Global News before Thursday’s game.
McLachlan is a major basketball fan who loves the “artistry” of the game.
“Basketball in particular, there’s such a grace and a finesse to the game that I love watching,” she said.
Announced as the anthem singer early Thursday, she admitted she might be nervous before singing an anthem she has sung her “entire life.”
“I’m going to sing it the way it’s meant to be sung,” she said, hoping that Canadian fans would sing “loud and proud” with her.
No matter what happens Thursday night, Game 6 will mark the last NBA matchup played at Oracle Arena before the team moves to San Francisco.
Should the Raptors fail to pull out a victory, they’ll play Game 7 at home at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Saturday.
— With files from The Canadian Press