Giants of Africa Foundation will inaugurate a new basketball court at the Samuel Mutombo Institute

File Aug 12, 2 13 44 PM

Kinshasa, DR Congo (August 11, 2022) — Giants of Africa and its co-founder, vice-president and chairman of the Toronto Raptors, Masai Ujiri, are in the Democratic Republic of Congo today to organize a camp in Kinshasa, before visiting Mbuji-Mayi with Dikembe Mutombo, an NBA member and humanitarian. They will inaugurate a newly built basketball court at the Samuel Mutombo Institute – a custom-designed space, it will be the fifteenth field to be opened in less than a year as part of Giants of Africa’s multi-year investment in sports infrastructure on the continent.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is the last stage of Giants of Africa’s 2022 summer tour, which will also have included camps for boys and girls in Burkina Faso and Benin. After a three-year break due to pandemic restrictions, basketball camps marked the return to the annual tradition of Giants of Africa, which travels the continent to develop the game and empower young people through education on and off the basketball court.

“Sport has the power to inspire the next generation to dream big,” said Masai Ujiri. “With our commitment to creating sustainable and long-term opportunities for young people by building fields, while developing basketball and life skills through camps, we strive to use sport as a tool to advance the continent.”

Reflecting on the impact of the ground on his native village, Dikembe Mutombo commented: “When we built the Samuel Mutombo Institute in memory of my father, an esteemed and passionate educator, we wanted to give access to modern education to hundreds of boys and girls in the community.” He continued: “Beyond the classroom, I knew I also wanted to give young people the opportunity to learn and grow on a basketball court, given the impact this sport has had on my life and that of so many others. Thank you to Giants of Africa for supporting not only our young people but also our entire community.”

“Being here in DR Congo with an NBA legend and a personal friend, who has done so much for his community, reminds us of the power of solidarity,” said Ujiri. “Only by uniting and rising each other will Africa be able to rise and reach its full potential.”

Since September 2021, Giants of Africa has built basketball courts in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Rwanda as part of its “Built Within” initiative. Other shorts will be unveiled this year as the foundation continues its journey towards achieving its commitment of 100 shorts across the continent.

The Jess and Scott Lake Foundation sponsored the ground of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

For more information on the initiative and to follow the inauguration of each new field on the continent, join the Giants of Africa online community at www.GiantsofAfrica.org or follow @GiantsofAfrica and #BuiltwithinTour on Instagram.

About Giants of Africa and Masai Ujiri

Vice-President and Chairman – Toronto Raptors; co-founder – Giants of Africa

Masai Ujiri is the first and only president of African origin of a professional sports franchise in North America – the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association. In 2019, Masai led the Raptors to their very first 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 pursuing a leadership career when his career as a professional basketball player ended prematurely. 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 young Africans, boys and girls. Giants of Africa has used sport to help young people realize big dreams, by organizing basketball camps and courses for boys and girls in 16 countries on the continent. In 2021, Giants of Africa launched the 100-field initiative and inaugurated basketball facilities in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Rwanda to date.

Media contact: Sharon Allela, +254715606105, sharon@giantsofafrica.org

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