Luol Deng, Chicago Bulls
Posted: Sep 17 2012
As a Chess London Ambassador, Luol Deng first wore a bespoke jacket back stage at his 2011 Luol Deng Foundation camp in Loughborough, before appearing on BBC 1’s The One Show in August 2011.
Having fled war in South Sudan, Luol and his family moved to London and settled in Brixton. It’s here where his athletic prowess began to show. Luol’s first sporting love is football – until the age of 12, “basketball didn’t get a look in” Loul says; Football was his love, Arsenal his team and Ian Wright his hero. But, as committed as he was to his first passion, at 6”4’ by age 13 and with a bit of persuasion from his brothers, basketball became his main sport.
In the US, Loul Deng is now one of the most recognised British athletes. Far more widely recognised than David Beckham thanks to being a star in one of the US’s national games, basketball. Playing for the Chicago Bulls, Luol was recently named as a 2011/12 NBA All-Star.
Controversially, Luol appeared on stage in a t-shirt carrying an outline of Africa "I just felt like being where I'm from and where I came from, it's something that I always wanted to see as a kid. I'm sure there's a kid out there, or a lot of kids, who really enjoyed it and made them happy to see that."
And for all his highly lucrative ability to jump, Deng keeps his feet on the ground through his devotion to the Luol Deng Foundation, which funds basketball initiatives in Britain and the newly formed nation of South Sudan.
For the start of the delayed 2011/12 NBA season, Luol wore a tailored suit in front of an estimated audience of 100 million people as we kept live track of the story via twitter (@ChessLondon). It seemed only right we called it the Luol Blazer and Deng Waistcoat and only two View the full album on Facebook