Sunday, October 29, 2023

Luol Deng on South Sudan, basketball, and inspiring hope: The Power of Sport


Title: Building South Sudan’s Basketball Team: How Sport Can Change Lives


In a recent interview with Al Jazeera, the former NBA star shared his insights on the importance of sports in transforming lives and his efforts in building South Sudan’s basketball team. This article delves into the inspiring journey of this basketball legend and the positive impact sports can have on individuals and communities.

1. The Power of Sports in Transforming Lives:

Sports have long been recognized as a catalyst for change, offering individuals an opportunity to develop physical fitness, teamwork, discipline, and leadership skills. Moreover, sports can serve as a powerful tool for social development, fostering unity, breaking down barriers, and instilling hope in communities affected by conflict or poverty.

2. The Journey of a Basketball Legend:

The former NBA star, whose name remains undisclosed, has dedicated his post-retirement years to uplifting the lives of young athletes in South Sudan. Born and raised in South Sudan himself, he understands the transformative power of sports firsthand. His passion for basketball led him to pursue a successful career in the NBA, and now he aims to give back to his homeland.

3. Building South Sudan’s Basketball Team:

Recognizing the immense potential of South Sudanese athletes, the basketball legend has taken it upon himself to build a formidable basketball team for the nation. Through his foundation, he provides training facilities, coaching expertise, and financial support to aspiring players. By nurturing talent at the grassroots level, he aims to create a platform for South Sudanese athletes to showcase their skills on an international stage.

4. Overcoming Challenges:

Building a basketball team from scratch is not without its challenges. South Sudan, a country grappling with the aftermath of a long-standing civil war, lacks adequate infrastructure and resources for sports development. However, the basketball legend remains undeterred. He believes that by investing in sports infrastructure and providing opportunities for young athletes, South Sudan can harness its sporting potential and inspire a new generation of athletes.

5. Inspiring Youth and Fostering Unity:

Beyond the physical benefits, the basketball legend emphasizes the importance of sports in instilling values and life skills in young individuals. By engaging youth in sports, he aims to steer them away from negative influences and provide them with a sense of purpose and belonging. Through basketball, he hopes to foster unity among diverse communities in South Sudan, transcending ethnic and tribal divisions.

6. Sports as a Vehicle for Change:

The impact of sports extends far beyond the court. By investing in sports development, South Sudan can leverage its sporting achievements to attract international attention, investment, and support. The success of the basketball team can serve as a symbol of hope and resilience for the nation, inspiring young South Sudanese to dream big and work towards a brighter future.


The former NBA star’s efforts in building South Sudan’s basketball team highlight the transformative power of sports. Through his dedication and passion, he is not only nurturing athletic talent but also empowering young individuals to overcome adversity and build a better future. By recognizing the potential of sports as a vehicle for change, South Sudan can harness the power of unity, inspire its youth, and pave the way for a brighter tomorrow.

Latest stories