Royals spike hope: Prince Harry and Meghan to build new basketball court in Abuja


A royal visit to Nigeria on 12 May has blossomed into a concrete commitment to youth development, with Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, announcing the construction of a new basketball court in Abuja.

Partnering with the non-profit Giants of Africa, an organisation co-founded by Toronto Raptors chairman Masai Ujiri, the initiative is aiming to provide a dedicated space for fostering athletic skills and community engagement.

Prince Harry and Meghan during the announcing of the construction of a new basketball court in Abuja, Nigeria.

Archewell Foundation’s role

The new court will be built with a significant donation from the Duke and Duchess’ Archewell Foundation. This contribution adds momentum to Giants of Africa’s ambitious Built Within programme, a multi-year effort to construct 100 basketball courts across the African continent.

“The power of sport goes beyond competition. This court, facilitated by the support of Their Royal Highnesses, will be a beacon of opportunity and a symbol of hope for young people in Abuja,” Masai Ujiri said during the event.

The announcement of the new court underscores the potential of sport to create lasting change. With a dedicated space for practice and community engagement, the initiative aims to leave a positive legacy in Abuja, inspiring young Nigerians to pursue their dreams on and off the court.

Princess Meghan with a young basketball player.

Giants Of Africa

Founded in 2003 by Masai Ujiri, the first African-born president of a North American professional sports franchise, Giants of Africa has become a driving force for youth development on the continent. Ujiri, who led the Toronto Raptors to their historic NBA championship in 2019, envisioned basketball as a tool for more than just athletic prowess. Giants of Africa champions the dreams of boys and girls across 17 African nations through basketball camps and clinics.

The organisation’s impact extends beyond the court. In 2021, they launched the ambitious Built Within initiative, aiming to construct 100 basketball courts across Africa. With 29 courts already unveiled in 9 countries, Giants of Africa is steadily transforming the athletic landscape for young people.

Celebrating their 20th anniversary in grand style, Giants of Africa hosted the inaugural festival in Kigali, Rwanda, in August 2023. Over 250 youth participants from 16 African nations converged for a week-long celebration that transcended basketball. Education, culture, and entertainment all played a role, solidifying Giants of Africa’s commitment to holistic youth development.

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