Masai Ujiri’s Giants of Africa commits to building 100 basketball courts in Africa
Toronto, ON (September 15, 2021): Giants of Africa and Masai Ujiri today announced a multi-year, 100-court investment in the infrastructure of basketball throughout Africa. This physical investment in the continent continues the foundation’s commitment to creating opportunity for youth in Africa through sports, and harnessing the power of the next generation to propel the continent forward.
Under the organization’s “Built Within” initiative, over ten new court builds and refurbishments will be unveiled across locations in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso over the next three months. The remaining will be unveiled in years to come, and will be strategically located in underserved communities.
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.
“Since we began investing in the future of sports in Africa over the last two decades, it became clear that camps and programming were not enough to create long-term opportunities for growth in sports,” said Masai Ujiri, president of Giants of Africa. “These public spaces have the power to unite communities, build togetherness and improve quality of life for all people.”
Reiterating the organization’s promise to the youth of Africa, Ujiri continued, “Sports are one of the best ways that we can help our young people achieve their goals and I look forward to hearing the stories of the thousands of young people who will be able to utilize these courts to help make their communities stronger over the next ten years and beyond.”
The court unveilings will each include remarks from community leaders and youth who will be using the courts, a welcome from local dignitaries, a motivational speaker and free basketball gear for staff and youth attendees provided by Nike. A basketball clinic conducted by NBA coaches and personnel including Jama Mahlalela, Patrick Engelbrecht, Patrick Mutombo, Sarah Chan, Godwin Owinje and Joe Touomou will close out each event.
The new courts will be built in partnership with Sport Court International, LLC, a pioneer in the concept of backyard modular sports surfaces.
“Athletics can not only play a role in shaping the lives of future generations, they can also build entire communities,” said Lauren Gillian, Director of Partnerships & Community Relations at Sport Court. “We are so pleased to be partnering with Giants of Africa as they work to increase long-term access to the power of sport to youth throughout Africa.”
MasterCard foundation will be supporting this year’s efforts along with I AM GOLD, who will be contributing to this initiative over the coming years.
For more information on the initiative and to follow along as each court is unveiled, join the Giants of Africa online community at www.GiantsofAfrica.org or follow @GiantsofAfrica and #BuiltwithinTour on Instagram.