(CNN)Masai Ujiri is a man of a number of firsts. In 2010, the Nigerian government grew to alter into the important African overall supervisor in US professional sports when he joined the NBA’s Denver Nuggets. When he grew to alter into the president of the Toronto Raptors in 2013, that became once one other milestone.
And in 2019 he led the Canadian basketball team to alter into the important outside of the US to capture an NBA championship. But through the on-court docket occasion, Ujiri had an altercation with a sheriff’s deputy that he believes came about because he is Murky.
Ujiri, who signed a contract extension with the Raptors in August to derive him both vice-chairman and president, says the incident has motivated him to lean in more to his humanitarian work — specifically via his Giants of Africa group.
Thru the nonprofit, he hopes to attract more Africans to the game, internet hosting basketball camps for more than 5,000 women and boys in 16 African international locations since 2003 — and he is at the moment on a mission to carry out 100 basketball courts at some stage within the continent.
CNN’s Arit Okpo spoke to Ujiri in Kenya while he became once unveiling a couple of of the important courts this past September.
The following interview has been condensed and edited for readability.
Arit Okpo: You are the important Murky, non-American team president in North American sports. What does that mean to you?
Masai Ujiri: I fight with it barely of bit because you have the pleasure in you to inform you are main the approach and that’s the rationale where it ends. Attributable to if there are no longer americans that note after me, which manner I didn’t attain a actual job. I’m the no doubt one, and I in actuality hate it. I’d like there to be more Blacks. I’d like there to be more Africans.
It is miles highly prideful for me to raise younger African coaches, younger African women to return and keep in touch to those younger other folks because they ogle that if me and you would attain it, they can attain it too. So yeah, I kind no longer are looking out to be the no doubt one. I hate that. It is shimmering, being the important — I have a scenario with being the no doubt one.
Okpo: So are there programs that you just are taking this and possibly changing the approach distinct issues are done?
Ujiri: Yes, a selection of programs. To start with, we want to provide more Murky other folks different in our personal establishments and organizations. We want to continue to figure out a technique to be resolution-makers, be in these boardrooms. It is no longer totally rent an intern or rent a diversity and inclusion officer — we must still be in positions where choices are being made within the finest approach. For me individually, there are a couple of initiatives that we’re engaged on that I cannot keep in touch too worthy about now that I am 100% all in favour of.
Okpo: Your duties with the Toronto Raptors have expanded to vice-chairman. As wisely as to president, what does that mean in phrases of the work that you just would possibly presumably perhaps be doing?
Ujiri: We are the no doubt (NBA) team that’s outside the United States so that brings a particular different. And any other folks kind no longer in actuality sign it. After I spoke to possession, I believed, you admire what? We must ogle it higher. We must still be the team of the sphere. I want to back more other folks. I want to exhaust my platform to be a insist.
It is miles also a failure if there are no longer more (other folks bask in) me on this put. So my insist had to be higher, and place us in environments where we would possibly presumably perhaps perhaps moreover moreover be even higher resolution makers. And these are the issues that I are looking out to achieve.