LUOL DENG (pictured), currently the world's hottest star in the NBA, has today been named for the first time in Britain's squad that is building up towards the 2012 Olympics.
The 6ft 9in forward, born in the Sudan but raised in London, has been in sensational form over the past week, helping his team upset the reigning champions Miami Heat 4-0 in the first round of the NBA play-offs.
It is the first time in history that champions have been swept in the first round of their title defence and Deng, 22, was described by the Chicago Tribune as the "best player in the series".
Deng averaged a series-high 26.3 points on 57.9 percent shooting, and added nine rebounds per game.
The forward's national emergence led Miami Heat coach Pat Riley to praise him daily during the series and rendered Bulls coach Scott Skiles almost speechless when asked to assess Deng's performance.
"I don't really know what to say," Skiles said.
"He was a big-time player, an All-Star-caliber performance the whole series.
"He was great on defence.
He shot the ball well, moved around the floor well, handled the ball well, rebounded well.
"I don't know what else he can do out there.
"[He was] the biggest factor why we won."
Now, Deng, who received his British passport last October, is set to make his GB debut in August as coach Chris Finch's team face a crucial European Championship-B Division promotion campaign against Slovakia, Holland, Albania and Belarus this summer.
Finch has named a 23-man squad for the summer and has kept open "wild card" spots with Golden State Warriors guard Kelenna Azubuike having declared he wants to play if his British passport comes through in time.
Azubuike is also in the middle of an exciting play-off series, although only playing a bench role for the Warriors as they continue to give Dallas Mavericks, the number one seed, a stunningly hard time in their first round match-up which they lead 3-1 in a best-of-seven series.
There is a third NBA player, back-up Dallas forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu, plus three players from Spanish giants Badalona - Robert Archibald, Andy Betts and GB skipper Andrew Sullivan.
Finch said: "If all these players who have committed to play for us turn up in July then it is going to be one heck of a training camp. The competition for places and the strength in depth will be unlike anything in the sport's history in this country.
"These are exciting times for the sport, in the build-up to the 2012 Olympics, but we mustn't lose sight of the fact that we have to win our games this summer to keep moving forward."
A sign of how much progress has been made in the organisation of the British programme lies in the fact that only five of Finch's 23-man party play in the lowly British Basketball League.
As well as four American-based players - Deng, Mensah-Bonsu and college stars Kieron Achara and Eric Boateng - Finch has called upon 13 European-based Brits to complete his squad.
Things could soon get even better for Finch because, according to the Chicago Tribune, the second best player to Deng during the Bulls play-offs was Ben Gordon, who was born in London and is also eligible to play for Team GB, something he is currently considering.
Squad: A Sullivan, A Betts, R Archibald (all Badalona, Spain), K Achara (Dusquesne University, USA), M Bernard (Teramo, Italy), E Boateng (Arizona State University), F Boyd (Rosalia, Spain), L Deng (Chicago), J Freeland (Gran Canaria), N George (Treviso, Italy), S Hansell (Evreux, France), C Haslam (Mlekarna Kunin, Czech), R Huggins (Charleroi, Belgium), T Johnson (London), J Joseph (Scottish R), M Martin (Guildford), P Mensah-Bonsu (Dallas), R Midgley (unattached), T Myers (Murcia, Spain), N Reinking (Bree, Belgium), C Sanders (Penne, Italy), A Virgil (Chester), Y Williams (Leicester).