Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri will executive produce an upcoming docuseries on the newly launched Basketball Africa League.
The league launched earlier this year in May and the series will showcase the stories of players, coaches and teams across Africa as they prepare for and compete in the season-ending tournament. The league is a partnership between the NBA and the International Basketball Federation.
Ujiri grew up in Zaria, Nigeria and attended college in the U.S. before joining the Raptors executive team in 2008. He also serves as President of Giants of Africa, the non-profit he co-founded in 2003, which uses basketball as a tool to educate and enrich the lives of African youth.
“The very first time I was introduced to this project, I knew that I had to be a part of it. As a young boy, I could have never imagined a professional basketball league, with opportunities for Africans both on and off the court, in my own backyard,” Ujiri told Deadline.
The launch and inaugural season of the BAL took place in May in Kigali, Rwanda and featured 12 club teams from across the African continent. Ujiri will help tell the stories of the many fascinating cultures, characters, and personalities across Africa.
Former President Barack Obama became a strategic partner and minority owner in the Basketball Africa League in July. BAL is already valued at $1 billion following a successful inaugural season. Rap star J. Cole made his professional basketball debut this season with the league when he played in several games with the Rwanda Patriots. J. Cole, who also dropped his sixth album, The Off-Season, this year, finished his tenure with five points, three assists and five rebounds in 45 minutes coming off the bench in the three preliminary games.
The docuseries will be directed by South Africa’s Tebogo Malope.