South Sudanese-British Luol Deng new basketball ambassador

Thursday February 20 2020

Luol Deng #9 of the Miami Heat handles the ball against the Utah Jazz on December 17, 2014 in Miami, Florida. PHOTO | ISAAC BALDIZON | NBAE via GETTY IMAGES

By The EastAfrican

South Sudanese-British two-time NBA All-Star and 2012 Olympian professional basketball player Luol Deng has been named the Basketball Africa League Global Ambassador.

Following his retirement from an NBA career that spanned 15 years, Luol has helped to grow the league’s profile on the continent and around the world, while inspiring young Africans through basketball.

“I am thrilled to work with Luol in his new role as BAL Global Ambassador,” said BAL president, Amadou Gallo Fall, adding, “He has been a great leader and an inspiring role model. He has been an integral part of our youth development efforts and has taken part in many of our initiatives across the continent since 2011. We look forward to working with him to establish the BAL as a world-class professional basketball league.”

“I am honoured to represent the BAL as the league’s Global Ambassador. We have a tremendous amount of talent in Africa and I am excited that some of that talent will be showcased through our new league. I look forward to supporting the BAL in expanding its footprint around the world,” said Luol.

Born in Wau, South Sudan, Luol was selected with the seventh overall pick by the Phoenix Suns in the 2004 NBA Draft and was subsequently traded to the Chicago Bulls where he played from 2004-2014. He also played for the Cleveland Cavaliers (2014), Miami Heat (2014-2016), Los Angeles Lakers (2016-2018) and Minnesota Timberwolves (2018-2019), before signing a one-day contract with the Chicago Bulls to retire as a Bull ahead of the 2019-2020 NBA Season. He was a member of the Great Britain National Team in the 2012 Olympic Games in London and captained Team Africa in the NBA Africa Games in 2015 and 2017.

The inaugural BAL regular season will take place in Cairo (Egypt), Dakar (Senegal), Lagos (Nigeria), Luanda (Angola), Rabat (Morocco) and Monastir (Tunisia). Rwanda will host the first-ever BAL Playoffs and Finals.