Being a British Basketball fan, Luol Deng is one of my favourite athletes. Recently I had the chance to interview him and it’s safe to say his journey to the NBA has been a remarkable one.
Deng’s journey to the NBA couldn’t have started further from the league. The Great Britain and Chicago Bulls forward was born in Sudan and is the eighth of nine children. At the age of 5 his family moved to Egypt and that’s where he started to play basketball with his brothers. Deng explained, “My older brothers played so they got me involved by teaching me the rules and how to dribble and shoot. We all really picked the sport up quite quickly.”
Luol Deng’s Road To The NBA
His family moved to London in 1994 where he really started to develop as a basketball player under the tutelage of the legendary British coach Jimmy Rogers. As he continued to improve as a basketball player, Deng was offered a scholarship to the Blair Academy in New Jersey and later went on to receive offers from over 100 colleges, choosing to attend Duke.
His coaches have had a big influence on him throughout his career; “I have had some amazing coaches with Jimmy Rogers at Brixton to Coach K at Duke and Coach Montagna from my High School, who have all played a huge part in my playing career. I would say all of these guys have made a huge influence in their own way in different stages of my life.”
However, Deng sees his Dad as his biggest inspiration in life; “My Dad is a huge inspiration to me as he had to make so many sacrifices for us in order to keep us safe. He made a great decision which really paid off for the whole family.”
Deng spent just one year at Duke, entering the NBA draft in 2004, aged just 19. He was drafted 7th overall and this remains the proudest moment of his career. “It was a dream of mine from a young age and was unreal to be there with my family on draft night,” he recalled.
After being drafted by the Phoenix Suns, he was immediately traded to the Chicago Bulls and has gone on to become one of the franchise’s best and most consistent players.
Inspiration On And Off The Court
Any athlete will almost definitely encounter difficult times on their rise to the top and Deng believes his positive attitude and the support of his family kept him going through the harder times. “We all face difficulties in life. I had to face many but it’s what you have to do if you want to reach a high goal. I have a great family who support one another and I have a positive attitude which my parents instilled into all of us. I would say staying positive has gotten me through many hard times.”
Away from the court, Deng does a lot of work in the community and set up the Luol Deng Foundation to help benefit the lives and places that have touched him and his family and to give back to the places that have contributed and played a huge role into his life’s journey and success.
The Luol Deng Foundation provides opportunities for participation in basketball for all sections of the community by running events, camps and courses, and during our interview the NBA star shared words of advice for any young players that want to make it in the game:
“Work hard and be true to the sport. So many people say they put the work in but it is easy to say rather than do it. You have to love the sport and have passion to drive you on to put the hours in.”
Deng is a key figure in the Brixton, the area of London spent his early teenage years in and his status in the community was highlighted earlier this year when he was unveiled as one of four ‘Brixton heroes’ to appear on new edition Brixton pound notes (a currency used by independent local shops and traders with the Brixton community).
“I am honoured to be featured on the new Brixton Pound notes,” he said. “I grew up in Brixton as a young teenager playing basketball for the Brixton Topcats which marked the beginning of my career. So it is with great pleasure that I am helping to support the local community that played a vital part in getting where I am today.”
Basketball in Great Britain has been on the up over recent years and when asked about his thoughts on the future of basketball in Great Britain, he replied:
“I really don’t know, but I want the future to improve and be more stable! I hope that having the sport on a huge platform like 2012 will bring a positive step to the sport. Basketball is played by so many people in the UK and I hope that 2012 can encourage more to get involved and maybe more importantly keep current players interested to continue to play.”
I hope you enjoyed the interview and learned something new about Luol Deng. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it
seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you
could be giving us something informative to read?
Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this blog
and I am impressed! Extremely helpful information specifically the closing phase
🙂 I care for such information much. I was looking for this certain info for a long
time. Thanks and best of luck. . youtube
Thank you very much for your great template! i love all your works, they’re amazing. But, i like this one alot. I put your template in my blog, see
Very helpful advice in this particular post! It’s the little changes that make the largest changes. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you very much! Your blog is always full of great idea. They are really helpful
I must appreciate the way you have expressed your feelings through your blog!
Great! Thanks for sharing the information. That is very helpful for increasing my knowledge in this field.
Thanks for your sharing. Your article is very useful, it gives me more understanding.
I must appreciate the way you have expressed your feelingsthrough your blog!..
Thanks for sharing.I hope it will be helpful for a lot of people are looking for themes nay.ban can visit the following link to see the specific instructions the.toi think it’s very useful.
This is the way that all look for.
Amazing information. I have been looking for it from long time. Thanks.
That’s what I was looking for. Very nice blog indeed, thank you admin
Just you agree, for me you are an eternal god
This is a fabulous post I seen because of offer it. It is really what I expected to see trust in future you will continue in sharing such a mind boggling post
I have been looking for it from long time.
We’re a gaggle of volunteers and opening a brandd
new scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with valuable information to work
on. You’ve performed an impressive job and our whole group mighbt bbe grateful to you.
Get the best solution pack
All the contents you mentioned in post are too good and can be very useful. I will keep it in mind, thanks for sharing the information keep updating, looking forward for more posts.
very interesting blog. Alot of blogs I see these days don’t really provide anything that I’m interested in, but I’m most definately interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know