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Raptors president worried about virus in Africa

Sports

Lawrence Cherono, left, of Kenya, runs to the finish line to win the 123rd Boston Marathon in front of Lelisa Desisa, of Ethiopia, right, in Boston. The Boston Marathon is offering refunds for the first time because of the new coronavirus pandemic. Race organizers say anyone who was entered in the 124th edition of the race this month can still run on the rescheduled date, Sept. 14. But if they can’t make it, they can have their money back. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson, File)
By The Associated Press
Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri is worried about the places currently hardest-hit by the pandemic, and especially worried about the places that haven’t been hit yet.
Ujiri told reporters on a conference call Wednesday that he’s been in contact with some leaders in Africa, plus has spoken with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about his talks with other African heads of state about their level of preparation for the new coronavirus .
“I think a lot of leaders are ahead of it, and the ones that aren’t are starting to pay attention because this is an unknown, this is an unseen enemy, and we have to really, really pay attention,” Ujiri said.
Ujiri is of Nigerian descent and founded Giants of Africa, a group that organizes camps and other events to use basketball as a way to promote education and growth for children on the continent. He says he’s unsure yet if his programs will go on this summer as planned.
“We’re just concerned about people, about health, about listening to what the directions are going to be moving forward,” Ujiri said.
When it comes to the NBA season, Ujiri said he’s hopeful play can resume. The Raptors won their first NBA title last season.