Sports

20 Surprising Truths About Luol Deng

1. Luol Ajou Deng (born 16 April 1985) is a Sudanese-British professional basketball player for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

2. An NBA All-Rookie First Team selection as a 19-year-old with the Chicago Bulls in 2004, the 6’9″ small forward was an All-Star with them in 2012 and 2013 before splitting the 2013 14 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

3. After just half a season with Cleveland, Deng joined the Miami Heat in July 2014.

4. Born in what is now South Sudan, Deng fled the country with his family as a child, moving to Egypt and then the United Kingdom.

5. He became a British citizen in 2006, and has played for the Great Britain national basketball team in international competition.

6. Deng was born in Wau, Sudan (now South Sudan) and is a member of the Dinka ethnic group.

7. When he was young, his father Aldo, a member of the Sudanese parliament, moved the family to Egypt to escape the Second Sudanese Civil War. When they were granted political asylum, his family emigrated to Brixton, South London.

8. Deng was educated at St. Mary’s RC High School, a voluntary aided state comprehensive school in Croydon in South London.

9. He developed an interest in football, admiring Faustino Asprilla of Newcastle United, During this time, he began his career at Brixton Basketball Club.

10. He represented Croydon at the London Youth Games, and was inducted into their Hall of Fame. At the age of 13, he played for England’s squad in the European Junior Men’s Qualifying Tournament, averaging 40 points and 14 rebounds.

11. Next, he led England to the finals of the European Junior National Tournament, where he averaged 34 points and earned another MVP award.

12. At the age of 14, Luol moved to the United States to play basketball at Blair Academy in New Jersey, where one of his teammates was future NBA player Charlie Villanueva.

13. During his senior year, Deng was considered the second most promising high school senior in America after LeBron James.

14. He was named First Team All-America by Parade Magazine and USA Today, and was selected to play in the McDonald’s High School All-America game,

15. Considered a five-star recruit by Rivals.com, Deng was listed as the No. 1 small forward and the No. 2 player in the nation in 2003.

16. Deng accepted an athletic scholarship to attend Duke University, where he played for coach Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke Blue Devils basketball team in 2003 04.

17. In one season at Duke, he appeared in 37 games and made 32 starts.

18. He averaged 30.1 minutes and scored 15.1 points per game en route to a berth in the 2004 Final Four.

19. He is only the 10th freshman in ACC history to lead all rookies in scoring, rebounding, and field goal percentage.

20. He was picked seventh overall by the Phoenix Suns, but was immediately traded to the Chicago Bulls by prior agreement.

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