Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes made a small contribution to the ongoing celebration of Canadian soccer legend Christine Sinclair on Friday.
Barnes wore a signed red Sinclair jersey before and after Toronto's 119-106 loss to the visiting New York Knicks. Sinclair played the second last game of her international career on Friday against Australia in Langford, B.C., with her farewell match on Tuesday in Vancouver.
The 22-year-old Barnes said that even though he and Sinclair play different sports, he thinks there's a lot he can learn from the all-time leading scorer in international soccer competitions.
"Just her dedication to the game. She puts it all out there," said Barnes after the Raptors' loss. "She does what she does very well, one of the best to do it.
"Obviously, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to reach that level she’s at. That’s inspiring to a lot of people."
Barnes, who is from West Palm Beach, Fla., learned about Sinclair's legacy in October when the Raptors held their training camp at Christine Sinclair Community Centre in her hometown of Burnaby, B.C.
Curious about the gym's namesake, Barnes learned about the 40-year-old Sinclair's 190 international goals, the world's record regardless of gender, and her 329 caps - entering play Friday - for Canada's senior women's team.
Impressed, he reached out to Sinclair and asked for a jersey.
"I had to get one of those," said Barnes. "She got me a signed jersey and when she comes to the game I’ll give her a signed jersey."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2023.
John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press