Precious Achiuwa: Empowering Dreams Through ‘What If Unlimited’

For Toronto Raptors forward Precious Achiuwa, the question “What if?” is the driving force behind his non-profit foundation, ‘What If Unlimited.’ This initiative is dedicated to empowering individuals from all walks of life through education, athletic scholarships, and business-building opportunities. Achiuwa emphasizes the importance of creating opportunities, particularly in areas with limited resources, aiming to inspire and uplift communities worldwide.

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) Foundation and the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) have announced the award of their latest matching grants totaling $50,000, matching the $25,000 commitment from NBPA member and Nigerian professional basketball player Precious Achiuwa.

Achiuwa began his philanthropic work shortly after being drafted in 2020. In 2021, he founded What If Unlimited in the U.S. to provide opportunities and resources to communities where he has lived and played, while always keeping his roots in mind. Each summer, Achiuwa and What If Unlimited return to Port Harcourt, Nigeria, to host youth camps and community development programming. One of the foundation’s significant milestones was hosting its first ‘What If Women’s Program’ in Achiuwa’s hometown of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. This event was inspired by a previous camp where it was observed that female participants lacked the resources that their male counterparts had.

Achiuwa’s vision for ‘What If Unlimited’ is clear: to touch as many lives as possible and ensure that individuals never give up on their goals. By fostering an environment of support and opportunity, the foundation continues to empower and uplift communities, turning the question “What if?” into a powerful catalyst for change. The event brought together over 150 women, fostering joy, unity, and empowerment. Achiuwa, though not present at the event, was instrumental in organizing a free basketball camp for over 1,000 kids in Port Harcourt, providing them with necessary equipment and resources.

To deepen his community investment in Nigeria, Achiuwa has now established a new Nigerian NGO, What If Youth & Women Empowerment Initiative. The funding from this grant will help kickstart the efforts of What If Youth & Women Empowerment, which focuses on providing workforce development, financial literacy, and access to youth sports. This Nigerian-based extension will allow Achiuwa to deepen the impact of his work in Africa through ongoing in-country programs for women and children, while creating access to specific African-based funding opportunities.

As part of the collaboration with Precious Achiuwa, USADF and the NBPA Foundation will provide capital for community-led initiatives using a 3x grant multiplier structure. Through this structure, What If Youth & Women Empowerment will receive grants of $25,000 from both the NBPA Foundation and USADF, matching Achiuwa’s initial funding of $25,000, for a combined investment of $75,000. This latest grant is part of a five-year strategic partnership between the NBPA Foundation and USADF to jointly fund development projects supported by NBPA members interested in and committed to development in Africa.

Over the past few years, Achiuwa has been dedicated to creating opportunities for thousands, with a primary focus on Nigeria. His foundation has also extended its reach to the United States, Sweden, and Canada, hosting various empowering events. In 2022, the foundation held its first week-long basketball camp in Nigeria, a moment Achiuwa vividly remembers. Overwhelmed by the smiles and enthusiasm of the kids, he reflects on the transformative impact the foundation has had on these young lives.

Through ‘What If Unlimited,’ Achiuwa has provided multiple scholarships for Nigerian kids to attend school in North America, using education and sport as tools to help them achieve their dreams. He aims to inspire others to pursue their aspirations, regardless of the challenges they face. Reflecting on his own experiences growing up with limited opportunities, Achiuwa is committed to creating pathways for success in various fields, whether through basketball, career development, or business ventures.

This partnership is now in its fourth year, with foundations and NBPA members such as Bismack Biyombo, Gorgui Dieng, Serge Ibaka, Zeke Nnaji, and now Achiuwa, having jointly donated a total of $375,000. This collective effort aims to spur engagement and accelerate philanthropic work with various communities across the African continent, driving sustainable change.

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