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jeffb 06-18-2014 08:17 PM

Ujiri to host benefit in Toronto Thursday

Holly MacKenzie @stackmack 8m
Masai Ujiri will honour life of Nelson Mandela at two separate events on Thursday. School visit in afternoon, benefit in evening. Benefit host Wolf Blitzer, guests include Jermain Defoe, Luol Deng, DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Amir Johnson, Dikembe Mutombo, Aloe Blacc. Benefit event will include performances by Aloe Blacc, AON Clarke, Thompson Egbo-Egbo, Nelson Mandela Park Singers and Lorraine Klaasen.

Aamir 06-18-2014 09:02 PM

Kyle Lowry. :giggity:

niggles 06-18-2014 09:13 PM


Originally Posted by DonMughal (Post 903074)
Kyle Lowry. :giggity:

Luol Deng.:mu:

0nekhmer 06-18-2014 09:15 PM

Aon Clarke :leo:

jeffb 06-18-2014 09:27 PM

Wolf Blitzer :aj:

Aamir 06-18-2014 10:39 PM

Masai Ujiri. :mattyd:

Ataf 06-18-2014 10:53 PM

Dikembe Mutombo :drizzy:

Alex 06-18-2014 11:12 PM

Thursday :mattyd:

Metallikid 06-19-2014 12:31 AM


Originally Posted by niggles (Post 903075)
Luol Deng.:mu:

It would be amazing if we could nab Deng for a reasonable price, trade Ross for Afflalo and re-sign Lowry.

jeffb 06-19-2014 12:33 AM


Originally Posted by Metallikid (Post 903097)
It would be amazing if we could nab Deng for a reasonable price, trade Ross for Afflalo and re-sign Lowry.

Deng, Afflalo, Derozan........who comes off the bench? lol

Chiggmo 06-19-2014 02:34 AM


Originally Posted by jeffb (Post 903098)
Deng, Afflalo, Derozan........who comes off the bench? lol

Derozan for bench scoring :mattyd:

LX 06-19-2014 03:50 PM

Demar in a manu-type role could be pretty ideal.

jeffb 06-20-2014 07:27 PM


Thursday, June 19th marked the 24th anniversary of Nelson Mandela first coming to Toronto to bring his message of change. Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri did not let the day pass without paying tribute to his hero.

In the afternoon, Ujiri, Raptors head coach Dwane Casey, Amir Johnson and former NBA great Dikembe Mutombo visited Nelson Mandela Park Public School to spread Mandela’s message.

Johnson — who was pleased to inform reporters he did not need offseason surgery on his ankle— shared a story about Mutombo blocking one of his shots as a rookie and delivering his classic finger wag. He was also touched by the reception from the children as the group entered the gymnasium.

“It was very inspirational,” Johnson said. “Very inspiring to hear Masai, Mutombo speak.

“I’m still kind of overwhelmed myself at how many people look up to me, when the kids are screaming. It’s a very big ordeal.”

Later in the evening, each attended Ujiri’s ‘Madiba: An Evening Honouring Nelson Mandela’ benefit. The event, hosted in Toronto’s Distillery District, paid tribute to the life and legacy of the former South African president.

“It’s special to me in my heart because I’ve met him a couple of times and he dedicated his life,” Ujiri said. “He was the father of Africa and I am one of the millions of sons.”

The guest list for Thursday’s benefit included DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Toronto FC’s Jermain Defoe, and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Luol Deng. Aloe Blacc performed and Wolf Blitzer co-hosted the event which raised funds for the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Ujiri’s Giants of Africa foundation.

Also in attendance were Nelson Mandela Foundation chief executive Sello Hatang, NBA Africa vice-president and managing director Amadou Gallo Fall and South African anti-apartheid activist Tokyo Sexwale.

As people floated along the red carpet, the vibe was a positive one in celebration of Mandela’s greatness.

“I have to give back,” Ujiri said. “For me, it would be a failure if I could not give back.”

Lowry called Ujiri a great man and spoke of how the sport of basketball has changed his life. He said there was zero hesitation about attending when Ujiri extended the invitation his way.

“He’s the most upfront, honest guy you’re going to deal with,” Lowry said. “He’s very vocal but he knows how to get his point across at the same time by not screaming and yelling.”

MLSE CEO Tim Leiweke had similar praise for the dedication his general manager has to his native Africa.

“[He] amazes me with his heart, his commitment, his thoughts and prayers that continue to go back to his roots, and for the trials and tribulations that many in South Africa still go through every day,” Leiweke said.

Defoe chatted about England’s World Cup loss on the red carpet, but grew serious when speaking about Mandela's legacy, calling him an angel who wanted to make change and help others.

Now in a position to effect change, Ujiri has continued to speak out about what is important to him. Since founding Giants of Africa in 2003, Ujiri has been committed to using basketball as a tool to help empower youth in Africa.

Ujiri spoke of Mandela’s message of kindness and of the importance of giving back to children to create a brighter future.

“The more you give, the more you grow,” Ujiri said.
Ujiri Hosts Star-Studded Day Of Tribute To Life Of Mandela | Toronto Raptors

LX 06-20-2014 07:44 PM

Cool. Thanks jeff!

Nice to hear Amir's ankle is ok.

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