Ujiri named Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations

DENVER, Aug. 27, 2010 -- The Denver Nuggets announced today that Masai Ujiri [ma-SIGH u-JEER-e] has been named Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.

Ujiri spent the previous three seasons with the Toronto Raptors, most recently holding the position of Assistant General Manager, Player Personnel. In that capacity, his duties included overseeing the Raptors scouting and personnel departments, talent assessment and related data management. He joined Toronto in 2007 as its Director of Global Scouting.

Ujiri is no stranger to Denver. He was a member of the Nuggets’ organization from 2003-07, serving in various capacities, including Director of International Scouting during the 2006-07 season. He began his NBA career with the Orlando Magic, serving as an international scout in 2002-03.

“We are very pleased to welcome Masai back to Denver” said Josh Kroenke, senior KSE and Nuggets’ official. “He brings a diverse basketball background and a unique perspective that will be valuable to our organization. He is respected in basketball circles throughout the world.”

A native of Nigeria, Ujiri is well connected in the international basketball scene. After playing collegiately at Bismarck State College and Montana State, he played professionally in Europe for six seasons, including stops in Belgium, Germany, England, Greece, and Finland. He has scouted all over the world, including Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. He has also managed and coached the junior and senior national teams of Nigeria.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to return to the organization where I experienced so much of my personal and professional growth in the NBA,” said Ujiri. “I am very thankful to the Kroenkes for this opportunity.”

Along with former Nuggets great Dikembe Mutombo, Ujiri has been one of the foremost advocates for the growth of the game of basketball throughout Africa. He founded the Giants of Africa Foundation seven years ago, which launched Top 50 and Bigman camps in his homeland. He also has served as Director for the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program each of the past eight years.