Chicago Bulls All-Star small forward, Luol Deng, suited up for Great Britain on Thursday in Manchester, England as they faced off against Team USA. Deng has long been adamant about competing in the Olympic Games and representing the country that he fled to with his family to escape the wars in their native Sudan.
Deng became a British citizen in 2006.
His employers would liked to have seen him sit out the Olympics and have surgery on his left wrist which he injured in January so that he can be ready in time for the upcoming season. With Derrick Rose expected to still be rehabbing his surgically repaired left knee, Deng will have to be a focal point – especially on offense – for Chicago until Rose is ready to return.
Deng played well against Team USA on Thursday despite his squad being blown out by 40 points, 118-78. He led all scorers in the game with 25 points and had four rebounds and four assists despite turning the ball over five times.
He also appeared to be wearing minimal protection on his wrist and didn’t seem to be hampered by it like he was during the regular season and the playoffs.
The leadership that Deng displays on the Bulls has transferred to the British National Team as he told the Manchester Evening News after the blowout loss, "We've got to learn from this. It was the first time we've played a team like this, and the first time for a lot of they guys that they've played against competition like that," he said.
"But that's the best it gets. There's a lot of things we did great, and a lot of things we've got to do better. We've got to take care of the ball."