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Ujiri’s Giants of Africa to host youth camps in 7 countries; DeRozan out of NBA Africa Game

This is really good stuff.

Masai Ujiri’s Giants of Africa charity will be holding youth camps in seven different countries this summer as a part of their 15th anniversary celebration. The camp dates are as follows:

Rwanda: Aug. 6-8
DR Congo: Aug. 10-11
Uganda: Aug. 13-14
Kenya: Aug. 16-19
Nigeria: Aug. 21-24
Senegal: Aug. 26-28

There will also be outreach done in Ivory Coast. The final three camps listed will also have camps for girls in addition to boys.

“Over the past 15 years, I have seen the impact basketball can have not only on one kid, but also on their entire community,” Ujiri said in a release. “When I started Giants of Africa, I envisioned providing African youth access to the game and empowering them to achieve their greatest potential. With 63% of Africa’s population below the age of 25, we have a huge goal and responsibility to help them develop. We are excited that this year we are able to extend our reach further across the continent to help realize that dream.”

Here are some more details on GOA, from the release:

Ujiri launched Giants of Africa in 2003 in Nigeria, with aspirations to leverage basketball as a tool for young boys and girls to Dream Big, andmaximize opportunities for their future in Africa. Since its’ inception the not-for-profit organization has expanded its footprint and programming across the continent and beyond the game prioritizing skills training and personal development encompassing basketball, health and wellness, leadership and social impact.

In addition to activating basketball camps and community outreach initiatives in August, Giants of Africa also trains local coaches in each community to learn from international premier level coaches. Each year, local and international coaches unite to serve as role models for youth participants to teach, motivate and encourage them to continue working hard to achieve their goals.

As Giants of Africa’s furthers its commitment to creating pathways for African youth through the game of basketball, the organization recently announced a game plan to develop multiple basketball courts in an effort to nurture the next generation of African leaders. On July 16th in Alego, Kenya they unveiled a court built in partnership with the Sauti Kuu Foundation.  The launch event was attended by notables including President Barack Obama, as well as NBA athlete, Bismack Biyombo.  Giants of Africa will infuse local flavor into the design aesthetic of each basketball structure to feed into the vibrant youth culture in each African country.

If you haven’t seen the Giants of Africa documentary that’s pretty readily accessible by now, it’s a strong recommend. Ujiri’s charity does tremendous, important work in African communities.

The Raptors will also have a pair of representatives at the NBA Africa Game in South Africa on Aug. 4 in Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka. DeMar DeRozan is also scheduled to play.

UPDATE: Chris Haynes of ESPN reports that DeRozan has pulled out of the game. It’s possible that the residual awkwardness with Ujiri is a part of that decision, but it’s also possible he just wants to spend the new few weeks moving, adjusting, and transition to a new home and a new situation in San Antonio.

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