Born: April 16, 1985 in South Sudan
Draft: 2004 - 1st round (7th pick) by the Phoenix Suns
He was finally granted UK citizenship on October 2006 after an extended delay. The process was impeded in the pathways of the country's Home Office because Deng - technically still a political refugee from Sudan - had spent most of the previous seven years studying and playing basketball in the United States.
In October 2006 received the UK passport
Deng has recovered sufficiently from a left wrist injury to be included in the 12-man squad announced Thursday.Deng says the team "plan to make Britain proud" and adds that he can't "wait to step on the court with my teammates at the games."Gordon and Mullens were already out of contention for Britain's first Olympic basketball team since 1948. The London-born guard Gordon didn't commit to playing at the games and Mullens is injured.
Another London-born player, forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu of the Turkish club Besiktas, also has been included in the squad.Member of the Dinka tribe that produces many of the tallest people in the world ... father, Aldo, served in the Sudanese parliament and became the country's Minister of Transportation before moving to Egypt to avoid the problems of Sudan's civil war ... while in Egypt, Deng's brothers were taught basketball by Manute Bol, another member of the Dinka tribe ... in 1993, Deng's father was granted political asylum in England ... father is currently studying to be a lawyer ... mother's name is Martha ... fluent in Dinka, Arabic and English languages ... the eighth of nine children ... has three brothers - Deng, Ajou and Akuie -and five sisters - Arek, Akon, Abuk, Ayek and Chier ... older brother Deng plays professional basketball in England ... brother Ajou played college basketball at Fairfield under former Duke assistant coach Tim O'Toole ... sister Arek plays college basketball at Delaware ... served as a tour guide at Blair Academy ... enjoys playing video games on Playstation 2 ... tries to pattern his game after former Blue Devil star Grant Hill ... wore number 33 in high school in honor of Hill
An incrediibly versatile player, very smart, who needs to beef up; has great leaping skills, passes the ball well, can score from any position, but needs to improve his 3 pts shooting, because his future is at SG or SF;
After one year at Duke, Deng entered the 2004 NBA Draft. He was picked seventh overall by the Phoenix Suns, but was immediately traded to the Chicago Bulls by prior agreement. Deng suffered a season-ending wrist injury late in his rookie season, but still made the NBA All-Rookie First Team to help the resurgent Bulls return to the playoffs for the first time in several years. Deng averaged 11.7 points per game, playing in 61 games. On 8 February, Deng recorded a double-double, including 30 points against the Dallas Mavericks.
In his second season, he posted strong performances throughout March and April to help the Bulls earn their second consecutive playoff berth. His offensive statistics improved in his sophomore season, increasing his scoring to 14.3 points per game, and increasing his rebounding to 6.6 per game, up from a 5.3 average his rookie season. Deng had four straight double-double performances from 28 February to 5 March, with at least ten points and rebounds in each game. In the playoffs, the Bulls faced off against the Miami Heat in a best of 7 game series. Deng came off the bench in all six games, averaging ten points per game.
For the 2006-07 season, Deng was the only Bull to start all 82 regular season games. All of his numbers continued to improve, and he led the team in minutes played (37.5) and field goal percentage (.517), while playing a strong second scoring option to Ben Gordon, with a marked improvement to 18.8 points per game. Deng also notably rarely committed fouls on defense (2.00 per game), despite the minutes he played and frequently being outsized in matchups against power forwards such as Kevin Garnett.
On 27 December 2006 Deng was driving the lane when Miami Heat player James Posey grabbed him, causing concern that Deng may have re-injured his wrist. Posey earned a flagrant foul, was ejected and suspended for one game. Deng scored 32 points against the Cavaliers just three nights later, however, resolving concern that the wrist would be re-injured. On 26 March 2007 Deng posted a new career-high 38 points to lead the Bulls to a home victory against the Portland Trail Blazers. Deng was in rhythm, converting a spectacular 18 of his 25 shots from the field.
Deng continues to credit Manute Bol as a major influence, saying "He has really helped me out in my life and I know that if I'm playing this game then it's thanks to him, so I owe him a lot." "Manute started me with this whole thing and basketball. Our relationship is one where he is like an older brother or a father to me. He gives me a lot of advice."
Deng is involved in numerous charities. During the summers of 2006 and 2007, Luol went to Africa, Asia and Europe with the NBA for their Basketball Without Borders Tour. He is also a spokesperson for the World Food Programme. "He really does epitomize everything I had hoped for as a person and a basketball player," general manager John Paxson said. "I think it's one of the reasons we've gotten to the level we're at this year. I'm truly proud of him. I think the world of him as a person and as a player."
Deng has won three major sportsmanship awards. On 3 May 2007, Deng won the NBA's sportsmanship award in a vote by players. The award honors the player who best exemplifies ethical behavior, fair play and integrity on the court. For that award, the league will donate $25,000 on his behalf to Pacific Garden Mission, the oldest continuously operating rescue mission in the country. Deng also won the 2006-2007 Golden Icon Award for Best Sports Role Model. The awards are presented by the Travolta entertainment family. Most recently, he won the 2008 UN Refugee Agency's Humanitarian of the Year Award as part of the UNHCR's ninemillion.org campaign to bring education and sports to millions of displaced children.
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