Masai Ujiri, the president of Basketball Operations for the Toronto Raptors, has stated that Nigeria must stop nominating non-professional sports ministers based on political reasons.
As a result, the country’s largest and most prosperous population is deprived of quality governance that would enable them to realize their full potential.
Masai, who formed “Giants of Africa” in 2003 to uncover basketball talent and previously served as director of the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders Africa, described the National Stadium in Lagos as an eyesore and questioned why such a great piece of real estate as not been income-generating like other sports complexes around the world.
The Lagos National Stadium is a multi purpose stadium in Surulere, Lagos State, Nigeria, that includes an Olympic-size swimming pool and a multi-purpose arena for athletics, football, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, wrestling, and boxing. It is a historical monument that was built in 1961 to stage sports events.
He cited what has been accomplished in Rwanda’s state-of-the-art 10,000-seat Kigali indoor Arena, which is currently hosting the inaugural Basketball Africa League (BAL), which began on Sunday in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital. The BAL features 12 teams all across Africa.
Since retiring from basketball, Ujiri worked as a global scouting officer for the Raptors before being promoted to assistant general manager in 2008.
He moved to Denver as director of basketball operations two years later, becoming the first non-American to be elected NBA Executive of the Year in 2013.
Ujiri rejoined the Raptors as general manager in 2013 and was promoted to team president three years later.
His unconventional policies have aided in the Toronto Raptors’ rise from NBA obscurity to championship challenger.