A man of Nigerian and Kenyan heritage has been at the forefront of the historic NBA championship win by the Toronto Raptors.
Masai Ujiri, whose mother is Kenyan and father Nigerian, is the Canadian side’s general manager – the most senior position in the team.
Overnight, the Raptors became the first Canadian team to win the championship, beating the Golden State Warriors 4-2 in the best of seven series.
Ujiri, who was born in Britain, has become a well-known figure in basketball development in Africa.
He set up the Giants of Africa programme which recruits young African basketball talent and secures scholarships in US universities.
The organisation has built courts in Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa. It is also working to develop coaching talent in Rwanda.
Before Wednesday night’s match, Giants of Africa posted a film on Instagram of Kenyan fans shouting: “Let’s go Raptors!”
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Today is the day. Cheering on the Raps with global well wishes from our Kayole, Kenyan family. Let’s Go Raptors! #raptors #WeTheNorth #kingsofthenorth #inmasaiwetrust #nba #northovereverything #basketball #hoopdreams #loveandbasketball #toronto #nbaplayoffs #nbafinals #masaiujiri #giantsofafrica #dreambig #strongertogether
On court, African players made a big contribution to the Raptors’ victory.
Cameroon’s Pascal Siakam was their top scorer with 26 points, and Congo-Brazzaville’s Serge Ibaka scored 15 points.