The African Grassroot Hoops Team

Team with clubs to help them to become self-reliant

Giovanni Freeman - Director

Giovanni Freeman was raised playing basketball in the Carolinas in USA. Which led to him playing for University of North Carolina at Asheville. Where he  graduated in 1994 with a bachelor degree in business administration. Through those years he coached or played at many basketball camps or clinics.

 

In 2000 Giovanni worked as a scout, coached and played professionally for SBM in Modena, Italy. Shortly after which he also started his career as a professional model. From 2009-2013 he combined modelling with running a distribution business for airtime and electricity devices which exposed him to many of the previously disadvantaged townships of the Western Cape.

 

After a short return to the USA, Giovanni renewed his passion for basketball remembering all the opportunities and life lessons that could be taught through the game of basketball. He then served as both boys and girls coach of basketball at Camp Bay High School. Nothing gives him more satisfaction then helping youth development skills they need to better themselves in life.

Vincent Ntunja - Director

Vincent Luyanda Ntunja  is a Capetonian pro-basketball player, a television presenter, motivational speaker and a philanthropist. He currently plays in the BNL in South Africa for the Western Cape Mountaineers. Vincent has been participates competitively in the game around 17 years. Where he started in the dusty streets of Gugulethu & has been fortunate enough to represent South Africa from the junior level till the senior National Team.

 

The sport gave Ntunja an opportunity to travel around the world to countries like USA, Russia, Mozambique, China, Korea, and Morocco just to name a few. His diversity was showcased when he presented & did voice-overs for a segment on SABC 1’s “Slam Dunk” basketball program

 

Giving back is also important to the star who feels basketball courts are a way to reach out to underprivileged kids.  “Despite his own achievements, his mission is to continue to make a difference in people's lives in the best possible way”. Moreover, Ntunja remains both a revered and reviled figure in the basketball community and the modelling industry respectively.

Maurizio Odeirna - Director

Born in Johannesburg in the 60’s, after which his family returned to Italy were basketball from young age became a passion. Later he started organizing tournaments which were played on a public ground. The ground was built with donations that he helped fund raise.

 

He then went on to study at University. From Pisa University he earned a degree in geology.  Where he an organized a hitchhike agency and was actively involved in organizing markets for biodynamic small farmers. He then worked as a geological engineer in the oil and gas for a French company.

 

South Africa called him back and he worked as a professional consultant developing groundwater resources for many communities around the country, where he witnessed daily the needs of communities in rural and township areas. During that time a course in business administration at WITS brought him to initiate a startup business in Italy which entailed pitching and finding investors, and managing the setting up of operations.  He then project managed the R&D department of an IT firm.

 

Since 2006, Maurizio has run a business of genuine food sourcing and distribution.  Over the past few years he has had the opportunity to help build a sporting community and sees basketball as the perfect vehicle –his early passion!

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