Raptors president Masai Ujiri to run basketball camps in six African countries
This summer, basketball fans in six African nations will get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to train with the best in the game, courtesy of Giants of Africa. Founded by Raptors president Masai Ujiri in 2003 to enrich the lives of African youth through basketball, Giants of Africa will host skill camps, which include quality facilities, coaching and instruction. Camps are open to the youth of Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Senegal at various times throughout the month of August.
Ujiri, a native of Nigeria who catapulted off his passion and talent to being the first African-born General Manager for a major North American sports team, never forgot his roots.
“Sport can change the world,” says Ujiri in a statement. "We believe that basketball can be used as a tool to educate and develop youth around the world to accomplish their dreams. We feel a deep sense of responsibility to help them develop as athletes and be good citizens within their community."
In addition to training coaches in each country and building infrastructure, Ujiri says Giants of Africa strives to serve as role models for these kids to learn from and to be motivated by hard work. Rwanda will see a new court at Rafiki Club, while the Kayla neighbourhood in Kenya will receive special community outreach from the team.
Coaches for the camps include international heavyweights and emerging talent from African countries, using the camps as a way to use successful mentors return to their homeland and inspire future generations. Since the camps started, 20 past attendees now play for European teams and 100 more have moved on to higher education in North America.