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Toronto Raptors Vice President and President Masai Ujiri Joins Fremantle & Passenger Basketball Africa League Documentary Series as Executive Producer



Toronto Raptors Vice President and President Masai Ujiri Joins Fremantle & Passenger Basketball Africa League Documentary Series as Executive Producer

The very first time I discovered this project, I knew I had to be a part of it

DAKAR, Senegal, October 28, 2021 / APO Group / –

Toronto Raptors vice-president and president Masai Ujiri has joined the recently launched historic new Basketball Africa League (BAL) documentary series as executive producer.

Ujiri, who was the architect of the historic 2019 Raptors NBA Championship, will be the executive producer of the series, which is directed by up-and-coming South African director Tebogo Malope. Ujiri’s inspiring commitment to his work off the pitch remains unwavering, where he is also president of Giants of Africa, the nonprofit he co-founded in 2003, which uses basketball as a tool. to educate and enrich the life of African youth.

Fremantle & Passenger produce the series, which tells the story of the creation, launch and inaugural season of BAL, a new professional basketball league in Africa featuring 12 club teams from across the African continent.

The first edition of BAL took place in May in Kigali, Rwanda. Working closely with showrunner and executive producer Richard Brown (TRUE DETECTIVE, CATCH 22) as well as executive producers Fisher Stevens (TIGER KING, THE COVE) and Akin Omotoso (THE GREEK FREAK, an upcoming feature about the NBA champion Nigerian-Greek and two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo), Ujiri will help tell the stories of many fascinating cultures, characters and personalities across Africa in the context of this inspiring new basketball league, which aspires to transform the world. professional sport ecosystem across the African continent.

The landmark documentary series will follow the stories of players, coaches and teams from across Africa as they prepare for and participate in BAL’s first season. This powerful series will highlight the momentum and ambition of the Pan African Basketball League and the individuals who have worked tirelessly to change the landscape of sport on the continent through this historic initiative.

Ujiri has been involved in the NBA in Africa for almost two decades and has been instrumental in its Basketball Without Borders (BWB) program. Last May, the NBA launched NBA Africa as a new autonomous entity that manages the affairs of the league in Africa, including the BAL. NBA Africa’s strategic investors include Nigerian businessmen Babatunde “Tunde” Folawiyo and Tope Lawani, and former NBA players including Dikembe Mutombo, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah and Junior Bridgeman. In July, former President Barack Obama joined NBA Africa as a strategic partner.

Ujiri grew up in Zaria, Nigeria, where his love of the game brought him to college in the United States, and once his playing career ended his impressive career off the pitch began. After joining the backstage staff for the Toronto Raptors in 2008, Ujiri went on to become general manager and president of the Denver Nuggets, where he was named the 2012/13 NBA Manager of the Year. He joined the Toronto Raptors in 2014 as president. Six years later, the Toronto Raptors won their first NBA title in franchise history.

Additionally, BAFTA and EMMY award-winning editor Andy Worboys joined the project as editor, alongside archival producer Paul Bell (SENNA, AMY, DIEGO MARADONA).

Executive Producer Masai Ujiri said, “The very first time I discovered this project, I knew I had to be a part of it. As a young boy, I could never have imagined a professional basketball league, with opportunities for Africans on and off the pitch, in my own backyard. The inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League marked a special event in the history of sport in Africa and I am honored to help present the unique journey that has brought us to this moment in time.

Executive Producer Richard Brown said, “At the start of the development of this series, we met Masai, and it was immediately obvious that he would be the perfect partner on this project. From young Nigerian player to inspiring NBA leader and visionary architect of the future of sport in Africa, he embodies the aspirations behind the story we tell. We are delighted that he has joined us; his knowledge, ideas and ideas are invaluable.

BAL, a partnership between the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), marks the first NBA collaboration to operate a league outside of North America. The first BAL final took place on Sunday May 30, where Zamalek was crowned champion.

Based in Fremantle and produced exclusively in partnership with BAL, the documentary series is part of Fremantle’s exclusive multi-year agreement with Brown’s production company, Passenger.

Below are the 12 club teams from 12 African countries that participated in the inaugural BAL season:




GSP ( (Groupement Sportif des Pétroliers) **


Petro de Luanda ( (Club Atlético Petroleos de Luanda) *


FAP ( (Basket of the Armed Forces and Police) **


Zamalek * (


GNBC ( (National Gendarmerie Basketball Club) **


AS Police ( (Sports Association of the National Police) **


AS Salé ( (Association Sportive de Salé) *


Maputo Railway ** (


Rivers Hoopers ( (Rivers Hoopers Basketball Club) *


Patriots BBC ( (Patriots Basketball Club) **


AS Douanes ( (Association Sportive des Douanes) *


US Monastir ( (Union Sportive Monastirienne) *

* National league champion who was represented in the inaugural BAL season ** Participation in the inaugural BAL season ensured through a BAL qualifier tournament

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