Basketball camp urges South Sudan’s youth to focus on sport

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — On his first trip to war-torn South Sudan, Masai Ujiri, president of the Toronto Raptors basketball team, said he came to encourage the country’s youth.

Ujiri told The Associated Press it’s time to “erase the narrative” that sports cannot be promoted in South Sudan, as it slowly emerges from five years of civil war that killed almost 400,000 people and displaced millions.

He is the founder of Giants of Africa, a non-profit organization to empower Africa’s youth through basketball. The program’s three-day training camp in South Sudan is led by professional coaches and scouts aimed at teaching basketball skills and leadership.

The training camp is eagerly attended by 50 mostly South Sudanese boys, aged from 14 to 18, who are encouraged to focus on sport amid the nation’s shaky peace.

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