Back in secondary school, St. Mary’s in Croydon, London, there was a fellow student in my year, he was the tallest in our year, tallest in the school to be honest, but he was one of the nicest, one of the humble kids, he never used his height and strength advantage in any negative way, he was not a loud student, except when it came to sports, especially Basketball, he was the one, he had the physical attributes as well as the determination, but coming from our surroundings, nobody expected anyone to make something of themselves, we were all ambitious but you did not think that so and so was going to be famous, or even massively successful, so all our acheivements, be it sport, art, music or drama was all for fun.
Fast forward a good few years, I was sitting at home flicking through channels, it was around 2am and there was an American College Basketball match on, so as a basketball fan I decided to watch, so I see this one team, Duke, they had a player that was just standing out throughout the entire game, they mentioned the name ‘Deng’, I paid no mind, still watching, then I see a close-up and I feel like I recognize the guy, then the commentators mention he is from England, I sit up in my chair, could it be? I watch more, I hear more, turns out..yes, it is my old school mate Luol Deng, I was amazed, proud, a mix of things, someone I went to school with is on TV. So now I began to check regularly how he is doing, his stats and so forth, within a week I’m watching the NBA drafts and there he is, this is amazing, he is drafted by Phoenix Suns but traded to none other than the Chicago Bulls, I’m ecstatic, this is unbeleivable, the guy who used to shoot hoops with me in the school court, the guy who sat opposite me in class as we flicked a foil-made football through finger goals is now going to be playing in the NBA for the Bulls.
He had come a long way already:
Now taking all that in his stride as he carves a successful career for himself in the NBA:
What I am pleased most about is that with all his success, fame and fortune, Luol is still just as humble and it only makes me wish him even more success, I hope the Chicago Bulls’ Number 9 goes on to create his own legacy as he represents the UK in the NBA. He continues to use his advantages for the good, embracing the community, doing what he can to make a difference, it is these qualities which separate him and solidify his status as a true superstar and I am proud to know him.
Expect more great things from the powerful Deng, I certainly do.
“Good Luck for the future bro”