MASAI Ujiri’s Giants of Africa (GOA) will hold a three-day summer camp in Ghana to develop young talents athletically and help them achieve life’s goals of becoming great players.
Supported by NBA, Nike, Nestlé, Ecobank, MLSE Foundation, Fortress, Blackberry, MasterCard, Bell and Sportscorp Travel, the camp which is the second tour of Ghana by the GOA team, is scheduled to start from August 12 to 14 and will bring together top coaches from across the country to help run the sessions which is also designed to give them the right foundation to start their careers.
Modelled after the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders outreach programme, GOA holds two types of annual camps – Top 50 Camp and Big Man Camp. Its approach is to use the game of basketball as a means to teach and nurture important life skills.
The Top 50 Camp focuses on the top 50 kids from across the country and provides campers with three intense days of instruction.
The Big Man Camp teaches young athletes at six-foot-eight and above the basic fundamentals of the game with a focus on running, catching, footwork and shooting. The goal for both camps is to begin to develop each of these athletes’ skills at a young and developmental age.
According to Ujiri, encouraging the dreams of African youth is at the core of what they strive to achieve with the GOA dream.
“Basketball is a sport that has become increasingly popular across the globe. And we want to support African youth by using basketball as a tool to educate and teach core values such as dedication, discipline and respect for others.”
The GOA train will kick start its tour from Senegal from August 7-9. Nigeria will have its turn from August 16 -18 and move to Kenya from 19-22, Rwanda from 23-25 with Botswana enjoying the final leg of the camp from August 26-29.
Since it inception 13 years ago, the GOA camps has seen more than 100 camp attendees moving on to high school or university in the United States, with around 20 now playing professionally in Europe.
By Raymond Ackumey