The Toronto Raptors may have a stronger connection to basketball in Africa than any other team in the NBA at the moment. In addition to Cameroonian big men Pascal Siakam and Christian Koloko, both Masai Ujiri and Precious Achiuwa are Nigerian.
Achiuwa, who averaged 9.1 points and 6.5 rebounds in what became a much-improved season for the former first-round pick, has made strides on the court that many thought to be impossible previously. Now, he is turning his attention toward making his mark in the charitable sphere.
Achiuwa is one of only a handful of players who have ever made it to the NBA from Nigeria. Looking to increase the opportunities available to youngsters in that country while trying to spark interest in the game, Achiuwa decided to start a camp aimed at kids.
Achiuwa set up a basketball camp in Port Harcourt that appeared to be packed with over 100 prospective players. While Achiuwa starts to have more success on the court, he hasn’t forgotten to be a force for good both in Toronto and around the world. Nice job, Precious.
Toronto Raptors: Precious Achiuwa is giving back to Nigeria.
Considering all of the charity work that Ujiri has done through his Giants of Africa program and Siakam’s altruism towards Cameroon, it makes sense why Achiuwa would follow in their footsteps. Youth sports participation is never a bad idea to throw your time and effort behind.
Even after the Miami Heat traded him to Toronto, Achiuwa hosted a back-to-school event in Florida that provided over 100 children with backpacks and supplies. Achiuwa’s giving spirit extends back to his birthplace, as he is doing his part to grow the game in his homeland.
Achiuwa and Team Nigeria famously upset Team USA right before the Olympics, showing the number of quality African players that are making themselves known on an international stage. Achiuwa’s camp may play a small part in furthering the love of the game in Nigeria.
The Raptors are proud of the fact that they are the NBA’s most multicultural team, with players coming from countries like Ukraine, Japan, and Nigeria. Toronto should also be proud of the fact that so many visible names on their team are consistently giving their time and effort to charitable causes.
With premier NBA talent coming from Africa on a yearly basis, Achiuwa’s camp could end up giving talented players a place to strut their stuff if he keeps this up.