Luol Deng vows to rebuild South Sudan's national basketball team

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JUBA, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Luol Deng, a former NBA star and the new head of South Sudan Basketball Federation, on Monday vowed to rebuild the struggling national team and enhance its capacity to compete in overseas tournaments.

Deng, born in April 1985, is a South Sudanese-British player and two-time NBA All-Star. The small forward had played for the Chicago Bulls, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Miami Heat, the Lakers, the Minnesota Timberwolves before retiring with the Bulls in October 2019.

Deng, who was voted as the head of the federation recently, said that he was determined to revamp South Sudan's national team amid lackluster performance.

"We need to do things that will encourage parents to bring their children who will take the sport more seriously. I am excited that I have an opportunity to bring excitement and unity in a level that can rebuild the team," Deng told journalists in Juba.

Deng said he will utilize his 15 years' experience to assemble and select a competitive team that can win in the upcoming regional and international matches.

He said that he had started discussion with national coaches to understand the challenges in basketball, adding that his vision was to create opportunities for the young people in order to improve their lives.

"We will provide the team with the best equipment like uniforms, shoes, t-shirt, or new basketball so that they can be at their best," said Deng.

"As a national team we need to go out and compete with other countries in the region and globally and win games so that everybody back home can be happy and proud," he added.

He revealed that his 4-year term will also include nurturing young female basketball players and coaches.

"My supervision legacy is to use basketball talent as a tool to rally young people to become agent of positive social change in South Sudan," said Deng. Enditem.

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