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Old 11-18-2013, 10:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Ujiri Celebrates Ten Years With Giants Of Africa

Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri saw a labour of love enjoy a milestone on Sunday, as his Giants of Africa foundation celebrated its 10-year anniversary in Toronto.

Giants of Africa has used basketball as a tool to help enrich the lives of African youth with some impressive results over the last decade. Kids involved with the foundationís Top 50 Camp and Big Man Camp have gone on to play at numerous levels, including American high schools and universities and junior club teams across Europe.

Itís also helped open doors to education, as 100 participants have attended university in Ujiriís home of Nigeria because of their involvement.

Changing the face of the game across a massive continent presents a major challenge for Ujiri, who launched the foundation as a series of camps in Africa when he was cutting his NBA teeth as a scout in 2003. But for the 43-year-old, his involvement has never really felt optional.

ďItís who I am, itís what I do,Ē Ujiri said Sunday when asked what 10 years of the foundation has meant to him. ďIf I wasnít doing this job here, I donít know what else I would do. For me, basketball is great, basketball is what I know and Africa is what I know.Ē
Many of Ujiriís family, friends and an impressive gathering of colleagues past and present were gathered at the event, ranging from his own youth coach Oliver Johnson to NBA Deputy Commissioner and CEO Adam Silver. The support from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment was also strong, with MLSE Chairman Larry Tannenbaum, President and CEO Tim Leiweke and members of the Raptors front office like Executive VP of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman and VP of Basketball Management and Strategy Bobby Webster were on hand.

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