Luol Deng Played Almost the Entire Game for Great Britain

by July 30, 2012

Luol Deng had just over a minute of rest — that’s it — as the Brits returned to Olympics hoops competition for the first time in 64 years. And Deng wouldn’t change a single thing about the experience. Per the Chicago Tribune: “So minutes after Great Britain opened preliminary round play at a raucous Basketball Arena Sunday night with a 95-75 loss to Russia, the All-Star Bulls’ forward offered as much postgame eloquence as he had in-game sweat while playing all but 63 seconds. ‘It was a special moment,’ Deng said after his 26-point effort. ‘For us growing up, basketball didn’t get much attention. We’re playing against the world where basketball is everything in their country. We have dreams. We want to develop the game. Hopefully, we have youngsters watching and following our footsteps.’ This is Great Britain’s first Olympic basketball appearance since 1964. It’s Deng’s first Games. He is playing in with a torn ligament in his left wrist as some way to repay the country that offered his family political asylum from war-torn Sudan. ‘This is why I chose to do this,’ Deng said. ‘It’s an experience that for the rest of my life I could never have taken away. A lot of people were talking about doing the wrist surgery, and I could’ve done that. But I would’ve never ever get a chance to do this again. The Olympics is not something that is given. And I took my opportunity. If I was home watching these guys go through it, I don’t know if it’d be easy for me to live with that. Now that I walked out with them, I can always talk about it and look back.’ Deng has told friends and close associates he hopes to either avoid surgery altogether or postpone it until following the 2012-13 season. He wouldn’t reveal his plan Sunday, but sounded upbeat about the injury he suffered in January. ‘The wrist is great,’ he said. ‘I’m not thinking about it. I’m just playing out there. These games are helping me. So far, I’ve had no trouble. For those who say I only drive right, I drove left a couple times (Sunday).'”