The news of Nelson Mandela’s death on Dec. 5, 2013, rattled in the nation’s ears as networks remembered the heroic 95-year-old, who mended South Africa after the end of apartheid, and served as the country’s first black president.
A year later, the Toronto Raptors and the Cleveland Cavaliers will honor the iconic man at Friday’s game in Toronto. The teams are reportedly warming-up in Mandela tribute shirts. Basketball legends Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley are expected to attend.
In typical NBA humanitarian style, the event will benefit Giants of Africa, a foundation that uses basketball as a tool to educate the lives of the youth of Africa, and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The evening will celebrate his life, legacy, and ability to inspire positive change.
When asked about Mandela’s passing, LeBron James expressed his thoughts, last Dec. to reporters: “His words, his mind will live on forever. In his 95 years, he was able to do some unbelievable things, not just for South Africa but for the world. You hate to lose a pioneer and a great, but what they leave behind means more than anything, and I think what Nelson Mandela will leave behind is more than him himself.”
Raptors star Amir Johnson also commented on Mandela at a 2013 tribute. “He stood for a lot especially change, and did it in a humble and positive way. That’s how I [try] to live my life.”