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NBA Finals

NBA Finals 2019: Canadians Parminder Singh and Preet Randhawa called NBA Finals in Punjabi for first time in league history

#NBA Punjabi
Canadians Preet Randhawa (left) Parminder Singh (right) became the first to broadcast an NBA Finals game in Punjabi [NBA Punjabi/Instagram]

The Toronto Raptors are just one win away from claiming their first NBA championship. If they're able to close out the Golden State Warriors, it will be the first time in the league's history that the Larry O'Brien trophy will find a home outside of the United States.

While the Raptors have captivated the country, another first in league history happened during these Finals. In Game 4 of the Raptors and Warriors series Friday, Parminder Singh and Preet Randhawa became the first to broadcast an NBA Finals game in Punjabi.

"This is incredible, I can't even put into words the emotions," Singh told Global News' Kamil Karamali.

The duo were approached by the league as part of their initiative to bring the game of basketball to us many fans across the world.

Singh and Randhawa were on offer all around the world through the digital version of NBA League Pass and other streaming platforms - which made its way into India and other south Asian countries.

Raptors fans have had the option of a Punjabi broadcast in the past. In 2009 Singh and Randhawa called Raptors games on Sunday afternoons for CBC.

That transitioned into the team calling Hockey games in Punjabi for the public broadcaster as part of Hockey Night in Canada's diverse coverage of the sport. However, in the process, the CBC lost their NBA rights and the two esteemed broadcasters weren't able to call any more hoops.

10 years later, they're back in the mix with the sport they love the most, making history on a global stage. The first game they called during this playoff run was Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks, but Friday night is when history was made.

"So this is 10 years in the making," Singh continued. "The first time we called a game in Punjabi, it was called in 2009 when the Raptors broadcast was actually covered by CBC.

"CBC had Sunday afternoon games. But since then, CBC had not had any games. We hadn't called any games in Punjabi.

"We got a call from the league and the NBA said: 'Listen, so we want you to be a part of our global outreach for us.

"That includes India, so they're going to India early next season for a couple of games there which is the first time that's going to happen."

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