Masai Ujiri Biography

Masai Ujiri

Quick Facts About Masai Ujiri

Celebrated Name Masai Ujiri
Age 51 Years
Nick Name Masai
Birth Name Masai Ujiri
Birth Date 1970-07-07
Gender Male
Profession Basketball Executive
Place Of Birth Bournemouth
Birth Nation United Kingdom
Nationality Nigerian, Canadian
Famous For Named the NBA Executive of the Year in 2013
Father Michael Ujiri
Mother Paula Grace
Home Town Zaria, Nigeria
Ethnicity African
Religion Christianity
High School Nathan Hale High School
College / University Bismarck State College, Montana state University Billings
Education College Dropout
First Club Solent Stars
Awards NBA Executive of the Year in 2013
Title Won NBA championship in 2019
Marital Status Married
Wife Ramatu Ujiri
Children 2
Residence Toronto, Canada
Height 1.96 m (6 ft and 5 in)
Weight Balanced
Body Type Average
Eye Color Dark Bown
Hair Color Black
Hair Style Short Trimmed
Sexual Orientation Straight
Source of Wealth Salary from his contract as a basketball executive
Salary Around $10 million
Net Worth $20 million

Masai Ujiri is a Nigerian-Canadian professional basketball executive and former player. Ujiri is the president of basketball operations of the Toronto Raptors in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He previously served as general manager and executive vice president of basketball operations of the Denver Nuggets and led the team to the playoffs. He was named the NBA Executive of the Year in 2013. He returned to the Raptors as general manager, later becoming the president of basketball operations. Under Ujiri, Raptor won its first NBA championship in 2019. 

Ujiri had a modest professional playing career before retiring. 

What is Masai Ujiri Famous For?

  • The president of basketball operations for the Toronto Raptors. 
  • Won NBA Executive of the Year in 2013.

Masai Ujiri Awards

Source: @cbsdenver

Where is Masai Ujiri From?

Masai Ujiri was born on 7 July 1970. His birth place is in Bournemouth in the United Kingdom. He was born to Nigerian parents, his father, Michael Ujiri, and his mother, Paula Grace. He holds Nigerian-Canadian nationality. The family moved to Nigeria when he was only two years old. His hometown is Zaria in Nigeria, where he grew up. He belongs to the African ethnicity and his religion is Christianity.

Growing up, Ujiri played association football. His interest in basketball started around the age of 13. He eventually made up his mind to pursue basketball. He left Nigeria to move to the United States and attended Nathan Hale High School in Seattle, WA. He stayed with a Nigerian family there. After high school, he played two years of basketball at Bismarck State College in North Dakota. He transferred to Montana State University Billings. However, he left after one semester. He eventually left Montana and returned to England where he was born to pursue a professional basketball career. 

Masai Ujiri Career

  • Masai Ujiri played his entire professional playing career in Europe. Prior to his college career, he had helped the then-fourth tier team Solent Stars to win the title with a 20-2 record. 
  • After returning to Europe, he played for several European teams. 
  • He played for Derby Rams, Solent Stars, Tournai-Estaimpuis, Hemel Royals, and BC Nokia.
  • His professional playing career was modest without any significant achievements. 
  • He ended his professional playing career in 2002. 
  • He then served as a youth coach in Nigeria. 

Masai Ujiri NBA Champion

Source: @thestar

  • He then returned to the United States where he became a scout. 
  • He was accompanying a young Nigerian player to a draft tryout. 
  • He became an unpaid scout for the NBA's Orlando Magic.
  • He then became an international scout for the Denver Nuggets. he was hired on salary. 
  • He spent four seasons with the Nuggets. 
  • He joined the Toronto Raptors as the Director of Global Scouting. 
  • He was appointed the assistant general manager of the Toronto Raptors in 2008.
  • in 2010, he returned to the Denver Nuggets as general manager and executive vice president in charge of basketball operations. 
  • The Nuggets went on to win 57 games in a season, the most in the franchise's NBA history. They also made it to the playoffs. 
  • He was eventually named 2013 NBA Executive of the Year.
  • He left the Nuggets in 2013 to become Raptors' executive vice president and general manager. 
  • He signed a 5-year contract worth $15 million with the Raptors in May 2013.
  • The Raptors reached the playoffs in 2014. 
  • Ujiri was fined $25,000 after he shouted "F*ck Brooklyn!" to the gathered crowd at a fan rally on 19 April 2014, prior to Game 1 of the first-round Eastern Conference playoff series against Brooklyn.
  • He was again fined $35,000 after he shouted "We don't give a s--t about 'it'" at a fan rally on 18 April 2015, prior to the playoff series against the Washington Wizards. The Wizards guard Paul Pierce had commented that the Raptors don't have the "it" factor. 
  • The Raptors won five Division titles under Ujiri. 
  • The Raptors reached the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history in 2016. 
  • He relinquished his title as general manager to Jeff Weltman in 2016. He then became the president of the basketball operations.
  • The Raptors finished the 2017-18 regular season with the best regular-season record in the Eastern Conference.
  • Ujiri fired head coach Dwane Casey shortly after their 2018 second-round exit to the Cavs. Assistant coach, Nick Nurse was promoted to the head coach of the Raptors. 
  • Ujiri acquired Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, and Marc Gasol and helped the Raptors to win the franchise's first NBA title, the 2019 NBA Championship. 
  • Despite the historic win, Ujiri's altercation with an Alameda Couty Sherriff deputy during the celebration led to several lawsuits against each other. The deputy involved has claimed to have suffered a concussion from the incident and seeking $75,000 US for his alleged injuries. However, DA announced in October 2019 not to take any action against Ujiri. Deputy Alan Strickland's body camera footage released in August 2020 showed that the Deputy initiated the physical contact. 
  • Ujiri then filed a lawsuit against the Alameda County sheriff's deputy Alan Strickland. However, both the parties involved subsequently dropped their lawsuit against each other.
  • Ujiri signed a new contract with the Raptors in August 2021. 

 Masai Ujiri family

Source: @torontowife

Who is Masai Ujiri Wife?

Masai Ujiri is a married man. He is married to fashion model Ramatu Ujiri. They started dating in 2007 and got married a few years later. The couple shares two children together. 

He lives with his family in Toronto, Canada.

How Tall is Masai Ujiri?

Masai Ujiri stands at the height of 1.96 m i.e. 6 feet and 5 inches tall. He has a balanced body weight. He has an average body build. His eye color is dark brown and his hair color is black. He usually keeps his hair short-trimmed. His sexual orientation is straight. 

What is Masai Ujiri Salary and Net Worth?

Masai Ujiri had a modest playing career who never played in the NBA. However, he later went on to become one of the most successful NBA executives. Ujiri led the Raptors to their first-ever NBA championships in 2019. He signed a 5-year contract worth $15 million with the Raptors in 2013. He later signed a contract extension with the Raptors in 2016. His salary was reported to be in the region of $6 million. After leading the Raptors to NBA championships in 2019, he became one of the successful executives in the NBA. It was announced in August 2021 that he had signed a new contract extension with the Raptors. His new contract would reportedly pay him $10 million in salary annually. At present, his net worth is estimated at around $20 million.

Did You Know?

  • His parents were foreign students in England.
  • Growing up, he admired Hakeem Olajuwon, an NBA star who was also Nigerian.
  • His father is a hospital administrator and nursing educator.
  • His mother is a doctor.
  • He is the first African general manager in major American sports.
  • He is the only non-American ever to win the NBA Executive of the Year award.
  • His organization Giants of Africa (founded in 2003) works on discovering basketball talents.
  • He was honored with the first-ever President's Peace Medal presented by the YMCA of Greater Toronto during Peace Week in November 2018.
  • Ujiri has served as director of the NBA's Basketball Without Borders Africa program, which promotes basketball throughout the continent.
  • Ujiri publicly criticized then-President Donald Trump's comments about immigrants from places like Haiti and his homeland Nigeria, which Trump allegedly referred to as "shitholes".
  • Ujiri accompanied Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on an official visit to various African nations, including Ethiopia and Senegal in February 2020.
  • He launched a new philanthropic platform called "That's Humanity" in December 2019.
  • He views himself as a Canadian citizen as well as a son of Africa.