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We will continue to do our best- Luol Deng

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By Adia Jildo

The president of the South Sudan Basketball Federation Luol Deng has said the bright stars are looking forward to put on another spectacular performance at the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

“We all believe in one goal and that is to put South Sudan on the global map. It’s all amazing and we will continue to do our part,” Deng said during the reception of the national basketball that participated in the ongoing FIBA basketball World Cup being jointly hosted in Philippines, Japan and Indonesia.

The Bright Stars overcame fancied opponents such as China, Angola, and Philippines and only lost to the experienced Serbs during the group stage of the tournament. This performance booked the bright stars a ticket to the Paris Olympic Games after emerging as the best African team.

Deng said the performance of the Bright Stars has won hearts and minds of the world despite coming into the tournament as underdogs.

He added the basketball team has helped unify South Sudanese who have endured years of brutal conflict that threatened to break the social fabric of the country.

“I just want to thank the fans for the continuous support to us, for showing the love and allowing the country to come together,” Deng said.

“It’s a beautiful thing to see all of us celebrating what the basketball team are doing, of going out there continuing to play together now becoming number one in Afric. This has a lot to do with the passion that we get from the support we see from home.”

Deng promised that the team would continue to get better as they prepare for the crunch 2024 Olympic Games in France.

Asianzu Joy, a staunch fan of the Bright Stars said the team has done wonders and created unity within a short time of their appearance at the FIBA basketball World Cup.

“Who knew that South Sudan had basket ballers? We are known for under-development, poverty, war and a lot of bad things,” Joy said.

To her, the country has something positive the world can focus on and even the youth.

“Now people will start to see South Sudan as a country of young talents who are capable to participate in different sports, we are being talked about internationally,” she added.

Deng, a 13-year-old school boy expressed his joy as the team arrived amid fanfare in Juba.

“I am happy that we won a lot of games and we will still play the Olympics,” he said.


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