Raptors GM Masai Ujiri and former-U.S. President Barack Obama launch new basketball court in Africa
Raptors’ GM Masai Ujiri and Giants of Africa partnered with former-President Barack Obama to give back to African-youth.
Written by Noah Goad
On July 16, shortly before a franchise-altering moves were being made in Toronto that sent a package including Raptors’ guard DeMar DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for forward Kawhi Leonard, Raptors GM Masai Ujiri and his foundation, Giants of Africa, partnered with former-United-States-President Barack Obama to launch the Sauti Kuu Foundation Sports, Resource and Vocational Training Centre in Alego, Kenya.
Giants of Africa’s mission is to use basketball as a means to educate and enrich the lives of African youth. They aim to provide quality facilities, gear and coaches with the goal of growing the game of basketball within Africa as well as create awareness and support for underprivileged children and young adults through our camps, which place emphasis on hard work, accountability, honest living and positivity. Giants of Africa strives to create opportunity not only as a player, but in other related areas – urging African youth to Dream Big
Alongside Ujiri and former-President Obama was his sister, Auma Obama, as well as the head coach of Raptors 905, Jama Mahlalela, Director of Global Scouting for the Raptors, Patrick Engelbrecht, Vice President and Managing Director of NBA Africa, Amadou Fall, and Charlotte Hornets’ centre, Bismack Biyumbo.
As part of the launch, the group unveiled a brand-new, custom basketball court and conducted a mini-camp for 90 youth in the community. Both President Obama and Ujiri participated in on-court activities with the campers, all in an effort to help foster a healthy and active environment.
“It is a remarkable space,” said President Obama in press conference at the launch. “And I’m very happy to see there’s also a basketball court.”
Along with the basketball court, the centre also includes a community space, a library, a computer lab, a vocational centre and a football pitch, all for members of the community to access.
To cap his speech at the court, President Obama sank a shot open up the court in dramatic fashion.