NBA All-Star Luol Deng set to return for GB in EuroBasket qualifiers
Wednesday, 15 January 2014
January 15 - National Basketball Association (NBA) All Star Luol Deng is set to return to the Great Britain team ahead of the EuroBasket qualifiers this summer, British Basketball has confirmed.
"We're pleased to say that Lu Deng has said that he will play this summer, subject to free agency being sorted," said British Basketball chairman Roger Moreland here today.
"It's a family, we understand those things are important, are very important, and it's a big year for Lu, so we know how committed Lu is to the GB cause.
"He's made a huge investment over the last few years to the programme, and we're delighted that he's able to give us that commitment, subject to the free agency which I know you'll all be aware of."
The small forward, who traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers last month following a 10-year stint at the Chicago Bulls, missed last year's EuroBasket Finals in Slovenia due to meningitis but is confident he can join the team this summer, subject to free agency.
"I had a really good discussion with British Basketball around Christmas and had some good feedback from the players about how Joe coached last summer," said Deng.
"I'm really excited about playing with Great Britain again and hope to get my free agency sorted so I can make this happen.
"I'm eager to get back in that GB jersey and on the road to Rio 2016."
Deng is regarded as one of the top British players on the basketball circuit having been named on the roster for the NBA All-star Game in both 2012 and 2013.
Deng's willingness to play comes as a further boost to the programme, after Portland Trail Blazers centre Joel Freeland had already confirmed his commitment.
The pair were missing from the team in last year's EuroBasket Finals where Britain finished 11th, equalling their best result from the previous tournament in 2011.
Details of who Great Britain will play in the second qualification round of the 2015 EuroBasket will be revealed when the draw is due to be made in Spain on February 3.
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org
September 2013: Britain take early exit at EuroBasket to leave funding in jeopardy
September 2013: London 2012 Olympians to star on British squad for 2013 EuroBasket
August 2013: Nick Butler - Great Britain's basketball team get the "box that rocks" rocking again
August 2013: British basketball on target in Olympic Park return
August 2013: British basketball team train at new Football Association centre ahead of Puerto Rico test