MASAI UJIRI’S GIANTS OF AFRICA TO HOST TWO-DAY CELEBRATION ON DECEMBER 4 AND 5 HONOURING NELSON MANDELA’S CENTENARY

Toronto, ON (September 18, 2018) – Giants of Africa and Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri announced Tuesday a celebration of the centenary of Nelson Mandela with a series of Toronto-based events on Dec. 4th and 5th. The tribute marks the fifth consecutive year that Giants of Africa, the not-for-profit founded by Ujiri, will pay homage to the late South African president and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

An evening gala event, aptly entitled “Mandela 100” will kick off the festivities on Tuesday, Dec. 4th. The tribute event to Mandela will bring together Ujiri and a number of his friends from the sports, culture and entertainment world.

 “This year, Giants of Africa celebrates its’ 15th anniversary,” Ujiri said. “Nelson Mandela has always been a personal hero of mine. With this being his centenary year, we wanted to truly honor his legacy in a special way. His dedication to changing the world is what inspired me to start Giants of Africa. In times of strife, sport has the power to change lives and unite people from all backgrounds. We are committed to using basketball as a tool to inspire and encourage youth to continue dreaming big.”

On the morning of Wednesday Dec 5th Giants of Africa with Hon. Ahmed Hussen will host a mentorship event. They will harness the energy of their network to connect with youth at risk and those facing barriers in their local communities. The youth of North Western Toronto will benefit by being motivated and inspired by a roster of incredible role models.

Across the city, the ‘Mandela 100’ celebration will also include a mini basketball camp to be held at MLSE LaunchPad for 100 Toronto youth. The 42,000 sq. ft. space combines sport and development programs to help youth recognize and reach their potential. Members of the Giants of Africa and MLSE teams will conduct sessions both on and off the court emphasizing Mandela’s legacy for change.

A tribute to Mandela’s life will also be recognized in-game as the Raptors take on the Philadelphia 76ers on Dec. 5. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN and Sportsnet. To mark the occasion, the Toronto Raptors team store, powered by Real Sports Apparel, will sell limited edition “Mandela 100” t-shirts.

Immediately following the game, a ticketed reception will be held at Scotiabank Arena. To learn more about the events, as well as purchase tickets, please go to: raptors.com/mandela100

Proceeds from the events will support Giants of Africa and The Nelson Mandela Foundation.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation was founded by the former president when he stood down from public service in 1999. The aim of the foundation is to contribute to the making of a just society by utilizing Mandela’s legacy as a vital instrument for sharing memory, for growing it, and for engaging it in the pursuit of social cohesion.

A native of Nigeria, Ujiri’s love of basketball paved his way to becoming the first African-raised general manager for a major North American sports team. Founded in 2003, Giants of Africa leverages basketball as a tool for young boys and girls to Dream Big, and visualize opportunities for their future in Africa and around the world. To learn more about the organization go to GiantsofAfrica.org or follow Giants of Africa on Facebook at Facebook.com/GiantsofAfrica , instagram.com/giantsofafrica and on Twitter @GiantsofAfrica  

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Media contact: Sue Kuruvilla E: sue@giantsofafrica.org  C: 647-401-7431