The President of Rwanda Basketball Federation (Ferwaba), Desire Mugwiza, has said that the Giants of Africa helped the Rwandan youth to love basketball over the past four years when it started its operations in the country.
The renowned grassroots basketball programme was launched in Rwanda in 2015.
Mugwiza said that, after four years, Giants of Africa has helped increased the number of young Rwandans who play basketball.
“Every year we choose 50 players across the country with Giants of Africa and bring them together for three days for a training camp with NBA coaches. For us the partnership us very important as it has helped improve our basketball infrastructure and training for the players; next year we will start a similar project for girls,” he said.
“We are planning to upgrade Petit Stade (Remera) to NBA standards”.
The Minister for Sports and Culture, Julienne Uwacu, said the project has been important for the four years it has been running, citing its role on the country’s U18 triumph at the zone five basketball championship in Tanzania.
The founder of Giants of Africa, Masai Ujiri, said: “I really want to give thanks to His Excellency (President Paul Kagame) for his support for the game, it’s very important and I’m proud for his friendship, his leadership…that’s manifested not only in this country but all over the continent.”
Ujiri is the President of Toronto Raptors.
His Giants of Africa project, active in several African countries, marked 15 years this year.
Last year, the Giants of Africa project officially launched the refurbished Rafiki Basketball Court in Nyamirambo, a Kigali suburb, as part of their outreach activities on the continent.
Giants of Africa undertakes similar programmes in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire.