Deng Set For GB Return

15 January 2014

EUROBASKET 2015

9. Luol Deng (Great Britain)
GB fans will be excited about Luol Deng returning to Europe to play for Great Britain

NBA star and British international Luol Deng has voiced his desire to be part of the British Men's national team this summer when they begin the process of attempting to qualify for EuroBasket 2015.

The 28-year-old was a notable no-show for the British in Slovenia last year at EuroBasket 2013, after earlier in the year becoming the face of British Basketball when they pleaded their case to avoid having their government funding significantly downgraded.

However, having had one summer out of the national jersey, the drive and desire remains strong for Deng to once more have the union jack on his chest.

In a press release issued by British basketball's governing body on Wednesday evening, Deng was quoted as saying that, "I had a really good discussion with British Basketball around Christmas and had some good feedback from the players about how Joe [Prunty] coached last summer. I'm really excited about playing with Great Britain again and hope to get my free agency sorted so I can make this happen.

"I'm eager to get back in that GB jersey and on the road to Rio 2016."

Up until last week, the power forward had spent a fruitful nine seasons playing for storied NBA franchise, the Chicago Bulls, with his hard-nosed work earning him NBA All-Star appearances in 2012 and 2013.

However, on 7 January his time in Chicago came to an end when he was traded to Cleveland, where he has wasted no time at adjusting to the new systems, scoring 27 points in just his third appearance for the Cavs as he helped his new team sneak past the LA Lakers 120-118 on 14 January.

Deng's willingness to play is a further boost to the British programme, after Portland center Joel Freeland earlier confirmed his commitment. Details of whom Great Britain will play will in the EuroBasket 2015 Second Qualification Round will be revealed when the draw is made in Barcelona, Spain on 3 February.


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