After 12 years of camps run by Giants of Africa, 2015 proved to be our most monumental year as we travelled across more countries, and reached more communities than ever before. By expanding each year, our initiatives extended camps and outreach programs to include Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Rwanda, where over 200 campers had the opportunity to Dream Big with GOA.
LAGOS, NIGERIA (CAMPS HELD SINCE 2003)
As Ujiri’s home country, Nigeria holds a great deal of memories and importance. GOA began visits to Nigeria in 2003 and it remained the only country until 2014. Sponsored by Nestle Milo, GOA camps feature morning sessions devoted to life skills development followed by a variety of basketball drills focusing on footwork, defense, ball-handling, shooting and passing. Afternoon sessions continue with more drills, followed by 5-on-5 games and motivational talks from Masai. Throughout the years, Giants of Africa has visited the Little Saints Orphanage during their stay in Lagos. Similar to the camps, Masai and GOA provide lessons in life skills to the children and in 2015 committed to provide a basketball net for the children to play in their facility.
ACCRA, GHANA (CAMPS HELD SINCE 2015)
In 2015, Giants of Africa visited Ghana, holding camps on outdoor courts for the first time in our history. Focus was placed on the continuity of learning and development both on and off the court, with local and international coaches attending all three days. Camp in Ghana closed with an All-Star game, which saw some of the country’s brightest young talent compete. On the final day in Ghana, Giants of Africa had a chance to visit SOS Children’s Village and toured the facilities in Tema playing an impromptu pickup game with the kids. Afterward, Masai presented SOS Children’s Village with products and funds to further support their mandate to meet the needs and protect the interests and rights of children.
NAIROBI, KENYA (CAMPS HELD SINCE 2014)
Kenya also holds a place dear to the GOA heart as Masai Ujiri’s mother is a native of the country and in 2014 our first camp took place in Nairobi. Camp in Kenya united some of the best players from across the country for two days of basketball lessons, life-skills and education. In 2015, players who attended the previous year demonstrated growth and mastery of their game. Following a high energy All Star game, Kon Bior was crowned camp MVP. While in Kenya, Masai and Giants of Africa visited Kayole, an underserved neighbourhood in Kenya where we encouraged and inspired local children to always remain hopeful and dream big. This past year, GOA helped fund and launch a new basketball court, as well as donated Nike products and basketball equipment to the Diwopa Catholic Primary School.
KIGALI, RWANDA (CAMPS HELD SINCE 2015)
The 2015 tour wrapped up in Kigali, where Masai’s close personal friend President Kagame held a special dinner for GOA. With the support of the Rwanda Basketball Federation, young basketball players from across the country banded together in Kigali to learn from local and international coaches during on-court drills and life skills sessions. Camp concluded with a fast paced All-Star game where the crowning of the top ten players of the camp and MVP took place. While in Kigali, the GOA team visited Club Rafiki to play with local youth. During our last day in Rwanda, Giants of Africa announced our commitment to re-surfacing Club Rafiki’s local court, installing new backboards and donating products and equipment by Summer of 2016.