2023 marks 20 years of Giants of Africa travelling the African continent conducting basketball camps for boys and girls, building courts, and facilitating youth outreach initiatives.
“It has been humbling to reach such an incredible milestone and there is much to be proud of as we reflect on the last two decades. 20 years of service has only been possible because of the passion and commitment of every person and community that has come together to make Giants of Africa what it is today,” said Masai Ujiri, Giants of Africa co-founder and Vice-Chairman and President of the Toronto Raptors.
“We’ve really only just begun. There is an understanding that we need to keep going and a desire to learn from our journey so that we can continue to help more. We are excited about the bright future as Giants of Africa continues to develop infrastructure and inspire African youth worldwide with programs focused on education, empowerment, and leadership, both on and off the court.”
20 Years of Impact
Since 2003, Giants of Africa has positively impacted over 40,000 African youth across 17 countries through access to over 30 basketball courts and 80 basketball camps or clinics. Twenty-six of the total courts have been made possible through ‘Built Within’, the foundation’s multi-year, 100-court commitment to investing in sports infrastructure across Africa, launched in 2021.
Since its inception, outreach initiatives in at-risk communities and refugee camps have been at the heart of Giant of Africa’s purpose. In 2021, the foundation unveiled a new basketball court and multi-sport complex for the Samburu Girls Foundation.
Led by founder Dr. Josephine Kulea, the Foundation provides a safe haven for young women. Dr. Kulea and her staff rescue girls from FGM, beading and forced marriage in northern Kenya. Giants of Africa is grateful to help contribute to their mission and empower the girls through sport.
Hundreds of Giants of Africa alumni have received scholarships abroad including NBA player Precious Achiuwa of the Toronto Raptors, WWE Star Tolupe Omogbehin - aka Omos and countless others who have gone on to professional careers across a variety of industries.
2023 Marquee Events and Programs
Built Within (January and August 2023)
The celebration of the 20-year milestone kicks off this month with the continuation of ‘Built Within’, the foundation’s multi-year, 100-court commitment to investing in sports infrastructure across Africa.
In January 2023, Giants of Africa unveiled five new courts in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso and Nairobi, Kenya, including revisiting Diwopa, Kayole to refurbish the first court ever built by the foundation in 2015. Additionally, a court was built at Elman Peace in Mogadishu, Somalia – a country plagued by civil war, political instability and traditional cultural practices that limit the rights and autonomy of women and girls.
Giants of Africa will be pleased to announce the unveiling of additional courts this summer.
AfriCAN (March 20 in Toronto, Canada)
The second annual AfriCAN event aims to advance Africa forward by uniting working professionals from the African diaspora. The networking-style event creates a community that not only celebrates their African heritage, but also brings knowledge and resources back to the continent.
Giants of Africa Festival (August 13 - 19th in Kigali, Rwanda)
The inaugural ‘Giants of Africa Festival’ will be held in Kigali, Rwanda. The week-long celebration of basketball, education, culture, and entertainment will unite more than 250 youth from 16 of the countries that the foundation has visited across Africa. The festival will use basketball as the tool to educate and empower African youth to dream big.
Program highlights include an opening ceremony celebration, an educational forum on International Youth Day bringing together over 2,000 Rwandan youth and a closing concert, all at the BK Arena.
‘The Giant of Africa’ celebration in honour of Nelson Mandela (December 3-5 in Toronto, Canada)
A star-studded gala, Giants of Africa night at the Toronto Raptors game, a diversity, equity, and inclusion event and more.
About Giants of Africa and Masai Ujiri
Vice-Chairman and President – Toronto Raptors; Co-Founder – Giants of Africa Masai Ujiri is the first and only African-born President of a professional sports franchise in North America – the National Basketball Association’s Toronto Raptors.
In 2019, Masai led the Raptors to their first-ever NBA Championship and the first NBA Championship won by a team outside the United States in NBA history. Born and raised in Nigeria, with a deep passion for basketball, Masai began to pursue a career as an executive when his professional basketball career came to an early end.
In 2003, Masai co-founded the Giants of Africa Foundation, based on the idea of using basketball as a means of educating and enriching the lives of African youth—both boys and girls. Giants of Africa has used sport to help empower youth to dream big, hosting basketball camps and clinics for boys and girls in 17 countries across the continent.
In 2021, Giants of Africa launched the ‘Built Within’ 100-court initiative and have unveiled 26 basketball facilities in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, and Somalia to date.
To celebrate the organization’s 20th anniversary, the inaugural Giants of Africa Festival will bring together over 250 youth from 16 countries across Africa to Kigali, Rwanda for a week-long celebration of basketball, education, culture, and entertainment in August 2023.