Monday 3 August 2015

Giants of Africa basketball camp starts in Lagos

The Giant of Africa basketball camp started off on Monday at the National Stadium, Lagos with foreign and Nigerian coaches teaching 50 teenage boys the fundamentals of the game.

The founder of the camp, Masai Ujiri, who is also the General Manager of theToronto Raptors, told the journalists that the camp would be holding in four countries for the first time, having expanded from Nigeria to Kenya, and now to Ghana and Rwanda.

The camp would hold in Lagos till Wednesday. It would hold in Ghana from August 7-9; Kenya from August 10-12 and Rwanda from August 13-15.

Ujiri said the camp was aimed at giving African children opportunities to use basketball as a tool to improve their lives.

“We want to keep building and giving kids opportunities. We expanded to two countries a couple of years ago. We did Kenya and Nigeria and this year, by the grace of God, we have expanded to four. After Nigeria, we will be going to Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda,” Ujiri said.

“We just came back from South Africa where we had the historic NBA game in Johannesburg. It was the first time and it was very successful. We just want to give opportunity to the youth and give them a part way to use basketball to improve their lives.

“We are not here to preach taking anybody anywhere. We want to teach them basketball fundamentals so that they can continue to grow in the game.”
He added that beyond basketball skills, the camp, sponsored by Nestle Milo, also teaches the participants life skills: self-awareness; how to be honest; how to be respectful; and how to be leaders in the society.

Ujiri called on government and the private sector to provide better basketball facilities in country to enhance the growth of the game.

Brand Manager of Nestle Milo, Bola Audu, who was at the event, said they were glad to continue to partner Ujiri and his team for the annual camp.

“It gives us pleasure to continue to collaborate with to uplift basketball in Nigeria. We will continue to do this,” Audu said.
Ujiri’s team at the event included former Nigeria international, Godwin Owinje, and Toronto Raptors’ Assistant Coach, Jama Mahlalela.  
Credit: Vanguard 

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