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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 October 2006, 19:14 GMT 20:14 UK
NBA star Deng ready for GB debut
By Rob Dugdale

Luol Deng. Photo by Rob Dugdale.
London-raised Deng is now a British citizen

Chicago Bulls star Luol Deng is looking forward to making his debut for Great Britain after going through a formal naturalisation ceremony in Croydon.

Deng is now cleared to play for GB after being ineligible for last summer's European qualifying games.

"We've been waiting for a while," the 21-year-old told BBC Sport. "I'm just happy to have the passport and hopefully represent Great Britain."

Deng was born in Sudan and played for England as a junior.

Both Luol and his elder brother Ajou, who played for the Scottish Rocks and Guildford in the BBL last season, will be available for GB next summer.

"In the summer I was here and if I'd been able to participate I would have done so," said Luol.

"When I was younger I played for England and I always enjoyed playing and competing with the guys I grew up with. So now there's a chance for me to do that again."

GB may stage a training camp in the USA next summer and the possibility of hosting a friendly tournament is also being discussed.

Coach Chris Finch is also hoping Deng's presence will encourage other players missing from this year's programme will make themselves available and strengthen the team.

"I feel these guys want to participate but sometimes the schedule's so hard and there's a conflict," said Deng.

"But I think if we sort out the schedule early then they can try to work around it. Then we'll have a lot more guys committed to the programme."

SEE ALSO
Deng cleared to play for Britain
05 Oct 06 |  Basketball
Guildford Heat bring in Ajou Deng
12 Jan 06 |  Basketball
Deng eyes British Olympic dream
17 Aug 05 |  US Sport


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