27th January 2021
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Luol tells gov’t to start supporting sport activities

Author: Kelly Abale | Published: Thursday, December 3, 2020

Luol Deng, a two-time All-Star, was selected seventh overall by the Bulls in the 2004 NBA Draft | File photo

South Sudan Basketball President has urged the government to start supporting sports in the country in order to improve the performances of teams in the country.

South Sudan was the only country at the AfroBasket tournament which was not supported by its government.

“When I was in the US, we were the only the team at the AfroBasket that was not sponsored by the government back home,” said Luol Deng upon arrival at Juba International Airport on Wednesday.

Since taking over as the president of South Sudan Basketball Federation, Deng has been single-handedly funding the national team activities.

The SSBF chief said with the performance his team displayed in Rwanda, they are changing the narrative of the nation from negative narrative of war and conflict to positives narrative of great sports performances at international stage.

“For us, we have to change the narrative so now the government will feel the pressure because it has to get involved because everybody is talking about us and you don’t want that image not only for our kids and youth, but for the country in general,” added Deng.

Asked about taking up the coaching role of the team and weather a new coach will be in place for the upcoming qualifiers in Mali in February 2021, Deng said he would have to make a critical decision on the matter.

On the next qualifiers in Mali, Deng said the team is good but still missing pieces they need to work on to reach the top level with other African countries.

The team returned from Rwanda after they participated at the AfroBasket 2021 qualifier where they performed to expectations of their fans.

The team played three games, losing one against Nigeria and winning two against Rwanda and Mali.

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