Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri and the President of Rwanda to announce the first-ever Giants of Africa Festival.
The festival will bring 200 kids from 11 different countries for basketball, education, and empowerment in Kigali this summer.
Masai co-founded Giants of Africa with the goal of changing the lives of countless boys and girls. The organization has conducted basketball camps in Africa every summer since 2003.
“Over the past 17 years, I have witnessed the transformative impact that basketball can have on African youth,” Ujiri said. “This latest evolution of our Giants of Africa summer programming is going to be unbelievable.
“For the first time, youth from countries across Africa will have an opportunity to meet, learn about other cultures and build camaraderie with their peers, who share a common love of the game. Basketball opened so many doors for me, and I’m excited to support this next generation of African giants achieve their dreams.”
Since then, over 100 Giants of Africa’s campers have attended high school or university in the United States and Canada. Nearly 25 former participants have played on junior teams in clubs throughout Europe. Over 65 have attended the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program in Africa.
Those numbers don’t include the hundreds of Giants of Africa youth who – inspired by the game of basketball – have gone on to become doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, teachers and so forth.
A Giant Returns To Africa
Masai is very committed to focusing on female empowerment issues globally. He is leading the charge for ensuring women are at the table at all levels and within all industries.
Growing up in Nigeria, Ujiri’s love of basketball paved his way to becoming the first African-raised general manager for a major North American sports team.
When he joined the Raptors there was only one woman within the front office team (Admin). He now has 14 key female executives within his front office team. It is an issue he is passionate about not just for women in Africa but globally.
With the Giants of Africa camps, there is a strong focus on empowering girls. They have done initiatives with Auma Obama (the former president’s sister) and the Samburu Girls Foundation.