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South Sudan Rumors

Luol Deng is president of the Republic of South Sudan Basketball Federation and is also on its coaching staff. South Sudan is one win away from qualifying for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, which would be a first for Africa’s youngest country. The Bright Stars need to win just one of three games against other African countries from Feb. 24-Feb. 26, 2023, in Egypt to qualify for the tournament showcasing the world’s top men’s basketball teams. Qualifying for the World Cup could also eventually open the door for the first Olympic berth for war-ravaged South Sudan.
Deng says that South Sudanese basketball fans are very fond of Bol Bol, the son of their beloved late legend Manute Bol. The 7-foot-2 Bol Bol is having a breakthrough season with the Magic, averaging 12.8 points and 7.5 rebounds. “Bol Bol told me he wants to play,” Deng said. “Obviously, this window in February, he’s still in the NBA. So, when we make it to the World Cup, then we can come to Bol Bol and knock on his door again. But in the past, he wanted to play badly. I remember he got hurt, but he wanted to play. But for Bol Bol, for him to [play], he needs to understand that his father’s legacy was for Bol Bol to play. He doesn’t understand how much he’s loved, and I think he will as he gets older. But his dad is loved so much that right now Bol Bol is getting everybody in the country so excited. His games are being watched by every kid.”
Deng will be in Chicago on Friday where he used to play for the Chicago Bulls to host a private fundraiser for the Luol Deng Foundation. The foundation is a nonprofit organization that “creates pathways to opportunity through sport and development,” according to its website, in Africa, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The foundation also has charitable programs that aid youths in education and sport, people with disabilities, people with mental health problems, poor people and men’s and women’s basketball programs in South Sudan.
Helios is the largest investor in the project outside the NBA itself, and has been joined by some notable names including former U.S. President Barack Obama, whose father was Kenyan, and Forest Whitaker, who won an Oscar for playing Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the 2006 movie ‘The Last King of Scotland’. A host of former players have also signed up, including Grant Hill and Dikembe Mutombo, who was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Luol Deng, born in what is now South Sudan, is also a stakeholder.
Someone who has known Harding since their college days together at Duke is the former NBA star and now president of the South Sudan Basketball Federation, Luol Deng. “I can sincerely say that more than her basketball pedigree, it’s who she is as a person that is our biggest win here,” the ex-Great Britain player said. “She’s consistently expressed an interest in helping grow the game of basketball in South Sudan, and I’m genuinely grateful to know our women will have an amazing person leading their development and journey onto the world stage.”
2 years ago via BBC