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Page last updated at 17:07 GMT, Monday, 26 July 2010 18:07 UK

Luol Deng, Great Britain

World Class 2012 in partnership with the British Council bring you the stories of the schools where the dreams begin.

Luol in action for the Chicago Bulls

One of the world's great basketball players, Luol plys his trade as a forward for the Chicago Bulls and is set to captain the British team in London 2012.

Luol's schools

Luol playing for Blair Academy
Luol playing for Blair Academy

Born in Sudan and having moved to Egypt when he was 5 to escape the Second Sudanese Civil War. Luol and his sister Arek don't have details of the school they attended in Egypt.

Luol remembers the time after school spent playing basketball with his brothers. It was here they met fellow Sudanese exile and NBA star, Manute Bol, who died earlier this summer. Under his guidance, Luol's passion for basketball began.

The Deng family later moved to London, where Luol continued training at the Brixton Basketball club and attended St. Mary's Catholic High School in Croydon. Aged 14, Luol was on the move again, this time to the USA, after gaining a sports scholarship to Blair Academy in New Jersey.

5 years later, aged only 19, Luol made his debut for the Chicago Bulls in the NBA.

The School Basketball team
St Mary's Catholic High School Basketball Team
You could tell straight away he was quite outstanding as a basketball player
Headteacher, Mr Ughwujabo

St Mary's Catholic High School

A specialist college in mathematics and computing, St. Mary's not only sets high academic standards but has a strong tradition in music and sports.

St. Mary's is working hard towards creating more sports stars with some very promising teams in football, basketball, cricket and rugby.

Find out which former pupil with very close ties to Luol still regularly visits the St. Mary's gym.

Blair Academy retire Luol's jersey
Blair Academy retire Luol's jersey
Luol had the same tenaciousness in the classroom as on the court
Coach, Joe Mantegna

Blair Academy

Located in New Jersey on the Mid-eastern coast of USA, Blair Academy strives to help students become balanced young people.

Academics is important for one part of their day, but taking part in sport, after-school activity and seeing friends is vital for the other.

Headmaster T Chandler Hardwick III, remembers how Luol found it tough at first to settle in to Blair life, as homesickness kicked in, "but he successfully grew through his initial unhappiness to become increasingly respected as a thoughtful leader as well as a superb basketball player," he said.

Find out more about Blair Academy and how Luol impressed his new coach within 10 minutes of his first day.

World Olympic Dreams

Luol is one of the athletes being tracked as London 2012 approaches and they strive to make their Olympic dreams a reality.

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see also
Superstar Deng spreads the basketball word
16 Aug 10 |  World Olympic Dreams
Luol Deng serenaded in Sudan
26 Jul 10 |  World Olympic Dreams
Tom Daley introduces World Class 2012
27 Jul 10 |  World Olympic Dreams

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