Masai Ujiri's Giants of Africa Builds Basketball Court in Kenya for Next Generation Youth
The African youth-focused organization celebrates 15 years of service with the opening of new African culture-inspired basketball courts across the continent, starting in Kenya in partnership with Auma Obama Foundation.
Toronto, ON (June 26, 2018) - Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri, announced today a game plan to build a number of basketball courts across the continent this summer in an effort to grow the next generation of African leaders on behalf of his not-for-profit organization, Giants of Africa. This move kicks off the celebration of Giants of Africa’s 15-year commitment to creating pathways for African youth through the game of basketball. The first facility will open on July 16th in Kenya in partnership with Dr. Auma Obama’s Sauti Kuu Foundation, an organization focused on creating structures to help youth become mentally, socially and financially self-reliant. Ujiri plans to infuse local flavor into the design aesthetic of the basketball structures to feed into the vibrant youth culture of each African country.
The timing couldn't be better. Africa is in an economic and culture boom, and the youth are at the center of it. Recent studies have shown that the continent is thriving with opportunity and dominated by youth. Africa is the second-fastest growing region in the world, touting 1.2 billion consumers, with 63 percent of the population below the age of 25.
Empowered by the impact the game has had on his own journey, Ujiri co-founded Giants of Africa with aspirations to leverage basketball as a vessel for young boys and girls to Dream Big, and visualize opportunities for their future in Africa and around the world. Since its 2003 launch in Nigeria, the not-for-profit organization has expanded its footprint and programming across the continent and beyond the game. The organization has prioritized skills training and personal development from basketball, health and wellness, to leadership and social impact.
“Over the past 15 years I have watched countless timid, hopeful kids transform into inspired, mission-driven leaders as a result of simply being exposed to more,” said Ujiri. “As we work to create greater opportunity for young adults on the continent, expansion is our natural next step in delivering on our mission. Basketball opened so many doors and built me up on many levels, so I’m excited to pay that forward to the next generation of African giants.”
The custom Giants of Africa basketball court will be part of a larger multiplex space in Alego, Kenya designed for young people and their families to achieve their greatest potential. Obama’s Sauti Kuu Foundation aims to help children and young people from rural and urban communities, discover the strength of their own voices and the power they have to positively change their lives. The organization works in tandem with children and their families to develop sustainable socio-economic structures that will promote financial independence.