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For the Toronto Raptors’ General Manager, the BlackBerry Passport Keeps Him on the Ball [Video]

For Masai Ujiri, ambition and hard work come hand-in-hand – a trait common to many of the execs and world leaders who rely on BlackBerry for their needs.

He embodies the best qualities of a leader: ambition, tenacity, humility and passion – and his rise to the upper echelons of the National Basketball Association’s top management circles didn’t come easily.

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Driven by Passion and Hard Work…

A native of Nigeria, Ujiri emigrated to the United States to play basketball for a junior college in North Dakota, followed by six years of pro basketball in Europe. He had aspirations of scouting out the best potential NBA players in Africa, keeping track of it all in a black address book.

Ujiri vidcap 4Eventually, his networking led to contacts with premier American basketball scouts, until his chance came to work with talents such as Doc Rivers, currently the head coach and senior vice-president of the Los Angeles Clippers, and John Gabriel, the New York Knicks’ director of pro scouting and free agency.

Networking was hugely important, but also unpaid: Ujiri covered all of his own costs.

To say that it paid off would be an understatement – during that time he met an executive with the Denver Nuggets, which led to a job as their international scout. After rising to be the team’s executive vice-president in charge of basketball operations, he assumed the position of general manager for the Toronto Raptors.

Today, Ujiri keeps track of things with his BlackBerry Passport.

(And click HERE to read our interview with Ujiri on his initial impressions of the BlackBerry Passport.)

…Powered by BlackBerry.

For Ujiri, all of his team’s hard work in scouting could be blown by a leak, so the BlackBerry Passport’s security credentials are key to seeing his successes through.

“I think the BlackBerry Passport has been built to higher standards of security,” Ujiri says. “Leaks are costly, especially during the trade period. I think it’s very important for us to have a very secure device.”

Ujiri vidcap 2

And that device is a constant companion, he says. “It’s constantly on me and with me – emails, calls, texts, and messenger.”

Ujiri vidcap 1

All that use is fueled by a 30-hour battery Ujiri can rely on, and it powers a user interface which keeps him in the game when he needs to be.

“Having the big touch screen, I think, is very important,” he says. “You are able to touch, you are able to flick, you are able to scroll through your messages, and it just makes it easier for me to see all my messages and see all my calls all at the same time.”

For such a busy man, having everything he needs to stay in touch with his team is critical, and he appreciates a device that brings it all together in one unbeatable package.

“Trade deadlines [are] hectic – it’s just constant communication you’re having. I think you also have to have a device you’re comfortable with.”

To see for yourself how Ujiri uses his BlackBerry Passport, click on the video below:

Pricing and Availability

You can get your game on with a factory-unlocked BlackBerry Passport from at these links:

Black (currently $599, regular $699)

White (currently $599, regular $699)

Limited Edition Red: $699

…and at Amazon HERE, with AT&T offering it for $649.99 unsubsidized or $199.99 with a 2-year contract. Rogers and Telus are carrying the BlackBerry Passport in Canada.

For those outside of North America, you can get your BlackBerry Passport directly from us at our global shopping portal HERE.

(Check with your local carrier for device compatibility.)

Matt Young

About Matt Young

Matt Young is a writer and editor with experience in tech, music, news and entertainment. A current Performance Evangelist for Radware, Matt has previous experience with BlackBerry, and Avaya. He has a degree in Journalism from San Jose State University. Follow Matt on Twitter @techunraveler.