Luol Deng has decided to represent his native country and newly independent nation, South Sudan, during the Bulls player intros this season.
Now Derrick Rose won’t be the only Chicago Bull to have a unique starting lineup introduction during the team’s signature pregame production. Luol Deng will be introduced as being from South Sudan as opposed to Duke this season.
"I love Duke, it's nothing against Duke," Deng said to ESPN Chicago after practice on Monday. "Me and Coach K are friends, everything is fine. I just felt like I didn't get to do it last year, but after we got our independence, being from South Sudan, I wanted people to recognize South Sudan. A lot of times we'll still say South Sudan and a lot of people say you're in Sudan, but we're our own nation now. So (as a way) of recognition, whoever's sitting in the crowd, or listening at home on TV and hears that, they can go and Google it. South Sudan is its own nation, so I'm proud of that."
As many may already know, Rose went to college at Memphis but is announced as being “from Chicago.” It’s a source of pride for Derrick, and Deng is essentially following in his footsteps by representing both his home country and nation.
Deng donned a T-shirt emblazoned with an outline of Africa during his first All-Star appearance last year and represented Great Britain during the Olympics this summer in support of the country that hosted his family after they fled during the second Sudanese civil war.
On July 9, 2011, South Sudan seceded from North Sudan to become an independent state and the world’s newest nation.