Giants of Africa explains investment on basketball courts across Nigeria
The founder of Giants of Africa, a non-governmental organisation, which focuses on developing basketball in the continent, has explained that the outfit is currently investing in courts across Africa to make the facility readily available to talented youngsters at the grassroots.
Giants of Africa, on Wednesday, unveiled four new basketball courts located at Gaskiya College, Ijora-Badiya, Egan Senior Grammar School, Igando, Ejiogbo Mini Stadium and Abesan Mini stadium, Besan, all in Lagos State.
According to Ujiri, who is president of Toronto Raptors in United States’ biggest basketball championship, NBA, the courts are part of the organisation’s commitment to build 100 of such facilities across Africa to empower youths through the sport.
Speaking at the unveiling of the court at Abesan Housing Estate Mini Stadium, co-founder of the Giants of Africa, Godwin Onwinje, who represented the outfit, said: “Giants of Africa in 2021 made a commitment to build 100 courts in Africa and the benefits have started manifesting as within two years, we have constructed 20 courts in Africa and eight in Lagos.
“Our desire is to see every child and youth thrive through sports and education. All the courts constructed by the foundation are to be used by youths around the host community… we want to take youths off the streets.
“Parents should allow their children to participate in sports, as it can transform their lives. We are also going to unveil more stadiums outside Lagos,” he said.
Also speaking at the occasion, president of Abesan Housing Estate Residents Association, Michael Kehinde, who commended Giants of Africa for building a basketball court in the Estate, assured that residents would put it court to good use.
“We are delighted that Giants of Africa came to our community to construct a basketball court. Our youths will now stay off the streets by this gesture.
“Sports is an important career in the present world and it is important children are encouraged to mix it with education. On behalf of the entire area around the estate, we thank the foundation. Youths need good sporting facilities to excel,” he said
After the unveiling of all the courts in Lagos, Giants of Africa crew drilled the children on the rudiments of the sport in a thrilling atmosphere.
On the experience since he started the project, Ujiri said: “There is so much talent in Nigeria. After unveiling our initial courts here in Lagos under the ‘Built Within’ initiative last year, we knew we would be back.
“We continue to be inspired by the youth, as well as the communities that are committed to moving Africa forward through sports.
“While basketball courts are the heart of the ‘Built Within’ initiative, it is about providing valuable life skills to empower the youth, while creating stronger communities and job opportunities on and off the court.
“Our goal is to bring social transformation, education and enrichment to the lives of children across the continent and we want Africa’s youth to dream big, believing that anything is possible.”
A total of 20 courts across the continent have been built since 2021 under the ‘Built Within’ initiative, a multi-year, 100-court commitment.
Giants of Africa has built a total of 20 courts in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Senegal since September 2021.