Masai Ujiri is the first and only African-born President, Vice-Chairman and General Manager of a professional sports franchise in North America – the National Basketball Association’s Toronto Raptors. In 2019, Masai led the Raptors to their first-ever 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 to pursue a career as an executive when his professional basketball career came to an early end. In 2003, Masai co-founded the Giants of Africa (GOA) organization with longtime friend and professional basketball scout Godwin Owinje, based on the idea of using basketball as a means of educating and enriching the lives of African youth – both boys and girls. Originally established in Nigeria, GOA eventually expanded into Kenya and since 2015 GOA has created camps and programs across the African continent, including in Ghana, Rwanda, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan and Somalia. In addition, GOA has built courts throughout Africa and conducted outreach programs for communities in need, including two of the largest United Nations refugee camps in the world in Dadaab and Kakuma.
With a strong sense of purpose and a magnetic spirit, Masai is driven to ensure that Giants of Africa has a lasting impact on the lives of African youth for years to come.