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Toronto Raptors

A letter from Masai Ujiri – Giants of Africa 2019

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Masai Ujiri (NBA Getty Images)

Growing up in Africa, I always dreamt big.

And what an unbelievable dream this past year has been for the Raptors and the city of Toronto, the NBA, and the way I see it, for Africa as a whole. Watching Pascal and Serge grow and perform in this championship gives me so much hope for African youth, especially as we look forward to the 16th season of our Giants of Africa journey. I saw firsthand the level of work these guys put in, and most importantly, youth across the world have had the opportunity to see themselves represented on the most coveted global stage.

Giants of Africa holds such a special place in my heart. It's not just another non-profit organization - this is personal. What started as a dream to give back to the country that raised me has since blossomed into an intercontinental mission to uplift youth across the diaspora, and shed light on the greatest part of Africa: its PEOPLE.

This year, we continue to honor GOA's core values, creating a pathway for African youth through the game of basketball, while venturing into new territory and pushing ourselves to dive deep into local cultures across the continent. Our month-long mission will begin in Morocco (August 2nd - 4th) and we will then head south to Mali (August 5th- 8th), Cameroon (August 9th - 12th), Somalia (August 13th - 14th) and Tanzania (August 15th - 18th). We will finish in South Sudan (August 19th - 22nd).

Africa has proven to produce some of the greatest athletes in the world, and it's a joy to be able to help grow that talent and create a space for African youth to learn. And as women across the continent, just like women all over the world, continue to fight against economic and social constraints, it is our duty to provide a safe space for young girls to establish community and express themselves through sports. This year, Giants of Africa will host special programming for young women in Mali, Cameroon and Tanzania in hopes to continue to dream bigger.

I always say that Africa is going to be great and I just hoped I'd be alive to see it, but I've realized that Africa is NOW and sports will be the next domino that creates significant advancement on the continent. Here is to dreaming big in a championship year and changing the world as we know it. GIANTS OF AFRICA 2019.

Masai Ujiri

Co-Founder, Giants of Africa

President, Toronto Raptors

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