Drogba, Akinwunmi in attendance as Ujiri’s Giants of Africa unveils new courts in Cote d’Ivoire
Giants of Africa and its founder, Vice Chairman and President of the Toronto Raptors, Masai Ujiri, unveiled two new basketball courts in Abidjan on Monday.
The event marked the latest courts donated under the not-for-profit multi-year, 100-court investment in sports infrastructure across the continent.
Announced in September 2021, the Giants of Africa “Built Within” initiative continues the organisation’s commitment to creating long-term opportunities for youth to realise their dreams through sports.
The first 12 courts were unveiled in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Burkina Faso. The upgraded, custom designed, spaces at Orphelinat de Bingerville are the first courts located in Cote d’Ivoire under the initiative.
“After visiting Bingerville for the first time in 2017, we knew that it wouldn’t be our last,” said Masai Ujiri upon reflection of the Giants of Africa camp previously.
“The warm welcome from the community, the spirit of the youth and their love for the game was unforgettable and I feel that same energy and passion here today. With lessons of leadership, teamwork and accountability, basketball courts have the power to unite communities and support the next generation as they pursue their dreams – on or off the court.”
“I look forward to hearing stories of these young boys coming together, honing their skills and strengthening the Bingerville community and beyond.”
In addition to Ujiri, the unveiling ceremony included remarks from African Development Bank Group President, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, sports legends and humanitarians, Dikembe Mutombo and Didier Drogba, Minister of Sports, Paulin Claude Danho, and Marcel Legre, Orphelinat de Bingerville Director.
Following the ceremony, Giants of Africa coaches conducted a basketball and life skills clinic for boys and girls from the community.
“The courts provide a new source of pride and inspiration here at Bingerville, with opportunities for our youth to play, learn and grow for years to come,” said the orphanage director Marcel Legre.
“It means so much to our children and our entire community.”