Toronto Raptors president Ujiri pushes for sports infrastructure in Africa

Toronto Raptors president Ujiri pushes for sports infrastructure in Africa

The Toronto Raptors Vice Chairman and President, Masai Ujiri believes that Africa can achieve a lot when Nigeria moves in the right direction in all things, especially in the field of sports development.

Ujiri, the co-founder of the famous Giants of Africa, believes Nigeria and Africa can be better than average in sports if those in charge of administration and leadership push more investments towards the development of more sporting infrastructure.

The former D’Tigers player who spoke in Lagos said; “Nigeria is the heart of Africa; yes that’s why you have it positioned there. When Nigeria moves, Africa moves. Africa is looking up to Nigeria for the right moves.

“This continent is about the youths and we are inspired by them especially when we gather like this. They will continue to be leaders and they will change Africa. And Africa is already changing.

“We can really use sports to make the change. God has given us the opportunity to use sports to effect some change and our leaders must endeavour to move in the right direction.”

Masai spoke when the Giants of Africa, the non-profit organization he co-founded returned to Lagos, Nigeria to host a youth basketball clinic at the Ilupeju Grammar School where they unveiled a basketball court in 2021.

The clinic welcomed Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who shared remarks with the youth and participated in on-court activities. In addition, through their non-profit organization, the Archewell Foundation, they made a commitment to donate to Giants of Africa, supporting the construction of a new basketball court in Abuja, Nigeria.

Toronto Raptors basketball team's President, Masai Ujiri (L) Principal of Ilupeju Grammar School, Josephine Egunyomi (2ndL), Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (2ndR) and Britain's Prince Harry (R), Duke of Sussex, pose for a photo during a basketball exhibition training match at Ilupeju Grammar School in Lagos on May 12, 2024 as they visit Nigeria as part of celebrations of Invictus Games anniversary.

The kind gesture of the British royal couple bolsters Giants of Africa’s ambitious initiative, ‘Built Within,’ a multi-year 100-court investment in sports infrastructure across Africa.

Prince Harry said: “What you guys are doing here at Giants of Africa is truly amazing. The power of sport can change lives. It brings people together and creates community”.

Megan, The Duchess of Sussex, added,: “We are thrilled to be here. I lived in Toronto for seven years and that was the first time I’d heard of Giants of Africa – talk about full circle – never did I think we would be able to be here all those years later supporting the expansion of this incredible organization, through our foundation the Archewell Foundation. We’re so grateful and proud of all the work that you’re doing.”

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