Chicago Bulls Forward Luol Deng Shows His African Pride During All-Star Weekend
There are talks that he may be fined for breaking dress code, but to that Deng said, via ESPN, "If I get fined, I'm OK. To me, what I did is worth it for me."
This is an admirable gesture by Deng, a player with one of the most inspiring stories in the NBA.
He was born in South Sudan, one of the most war-afflicted countries in the world. After a few years, he was granted asylum in Egypt, where he and his older brother, former UConn Huskies big-man Ajou Deng, met and were taught basketball by former NBA player Manute Bol.
After a few years, Deng moved to Great Britain. He was recruited by Blair Academy in New Jersey to play basketball next to Charlie Villanueva after a few years of asylum.
After being named a McDonald's All-American, he played at Duke University for a year and entered the 2004 NBA draft.
When Deng came out with the shirt on, he showed the whole world what a boy from war-torn Sudan could do.
The situation that compares to this in my opinion is Jeremy Lin. Think of the African players in the NBA, of which there have been quite a few.
The ones that come to mind could be Hakeem Olajuwon, Bol, Dikembe Mutumbo...what do these guys have in common? They're all big men. Luol Deng is one of the first African players in the league to be a skilled perimeter player.
Deng has motivated a whole continent to have faith in their basketball skills and has been an inspirational story to those surrounding him. His wearing of the Africa shirt shows his pride in his continent and his past, and makes him an even more likable player than he was before.
Don't be surprised to see the next crop of great perimeter players come from Africa.
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