Giants of Africa partnered with photographer and filmmaker Kevin Couliau to host a photo exhibition in Paris to commemorate Giants of Africa's 20th anniversary milestone.
EDMONTON, Alberta (October 5, 2023) – Today, Giants of Africa, the non-profit organization co-founded by Toronto Raptors vice-chairman and president Masai Ujiri, is proud to announce the opening of a new basketball court at Londonderry School in Edmonton, Alberta, sponsored by Sun Life Canada, with support from the Toronto Raptors and MLSE Foundation.
The first of its kind outside of the African continent, this court marks a significant milestone in Giants of Africa’s 20-year history. It underscores the organization’s mission to empower youth and embrace the diverse African diaspora residing in Canada.
“Our commitment has always been to harness the power of basketball to empower African youth and inspire positive change,” said Ujiri. “By introducing our first Canadian court in Edmonton’s Londonderry neighbourhood, we aim to create a space that nurtures talent, leadership, well-being and unity, in a community that serves the youth of the African diaspora and beyond, right here in our own backyard.”
An official court unveiling ceremony took place today, featuring a co-ed basketball clinic and life skills education session conducted by NBA personnel and Giants of Africa coaches. Remarks were shared by Masai Ujiri, special guests and community leaders.
“Supporting Giants of Africa to expand equitable access to community spaces helps ensure our youth can make health a priority,” said Paul Joliat, Vice-President, Global Partnerships and Marketing Planning. “At Sun Life, we are driven by our purpose to help Canadians live healthier lives. Guiding youth to be more active will have a tremendous impact on their mental and physical health for years to come.”
Tanya Mruck, Vice President, Community Engagement & Social Impact, MLSE, remarked, “As the Toronto Raptors’ charity, MLSE Foundation works to empower the next generation to reach their full potential by delivering quality sports programming, investing in likeminded organizations, and creating safe places for youth to play. As longstanding community builders, we believe in the power of place to unite communities through sport and are proud to support Giants of Africa in their first court build off the continent.”
The basketball court will serve as youth development hub, offering a safe space for athletes to hone their skills and develop vital values like teamwork, leadership, and resilience.
“We are grateful for the revitalized basketball court at Londonderry School. Spaces, like basketball courts, are integral parts of a school community, where students gather to stay active, promote teamwork, improve skills and connect with one another,” Darrel Robertson, Superintendent, Edmonton Public Schools said. “This vibrant new court will make a difference in the lives of Londonderry School students for years to come.”
The Edmonton court is an extension of Giants of Africa’s commitment to build 100 courts across Africa. To date, 29 new courts have been unveiled in 9 African countries.
For more information or to donate, join the Giants of Africa online community at www.GiantsofAfrica.org or follow Giants of Africa on all major social media platforms.
About Giants of Africa and Masai Ujiri
Masai Ujiri is the first and only African-born President 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. 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 African youth—both boys and girls. Giants of Africa has used sport to help empower youth to dream big, hosting basketball camps and clinics for boys and girls in 17 countries across the continent. In 2021, Giants of Africa launched the ‘Built Within’ 100-court initiative and have unveiled 29 basketball facilities in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Senegal to date. To celebrate the organization’s 20th anniversary, the inaugural Giants of Africa Festival brought together over 250 youth from 16 countries across Africa to Kigali, Rwanda for a week-long celebration of basketball, education, culture, and entertainment in August 2023.
For still images and B-roll from today’s event: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1kaPhZQoYTETEHK74ePrkatC78EOUkOXP?usp=sharing