all deng long
With the new NBA season starting in less than two weeks, news reaches Chicago Addick
that old Lewisham boy Loul Deng has been given a UK passport by the Home Office
, meaning that he is eligible to play for Britain in next summer's European qualifiers and future Olympics. The decision to grant Deng's naturalisation came after intense lobbying by UK Sport, British basketball officials and London 2012 officials.
Chicago Bull Deng was born in Sudan but his family came to Britain as refugee's to escape the civil war in the African state. He then lived in Lewisham from the age of 9, until he left for the USA at 15 for a high-school scholarship.
It was recently said that Deng, who earns £1.4m a year and is 6ft 9, is one of Britain's highest paid sportsman, although to most people at home he is an unknown. Not in Chicago though, Deng is considered one of the brightest young players in the NBA and will form part an exciting Chicago Bulls
squad that has high hopes for the new season.
Deng has spent the last two summers in London helping promote basketball through the Nike Midnight Madness
tournaments and has taken the best players in the competition to Chicago to learn more about the game. "Although I've been living in the US for a number of years, London will always be my home. It's the city I grew up in and where my family lives today."