Luol Deng to serve as captain for NBA exhibition game in Africa
Miami Heat small forward Luol Deng will be participating in the NBA’s first ever exhibition game in Africa, it was announced Wednesday.
Deng, a native of South Sudan, will be the captain of Team Africa and Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul will captain Team World in a game that will be played in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Aug. 1 to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Africa, SOS Children’s Villages Association of South Africa and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
"I am extremely proud to be a part of the NBA’s first game in Africa," said Deng, who holds a player option to return to the Heat for the 2015-16 NBA season. "Coming from South Sudan and having participated in the Basketball Without Borders Africa camps in Johannesburg previously, I am truly honored to be part of this historic event."
The two-time All-Star has done extensive humanitarian work in Africa throughout his 11-year career both in conjunction with the NBA as part of their Basketball Without Borders Tour and through his own charity group, the Luol Deng Foundation.
Team Africa will consist of players from the continent as well as second-generation African players and Team World will feature players from the rest of the world. The full rosters of players and coaches will be released at a later time.
Several NBA executives and coaches will also be making the trip to South Africa for the game, including NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich as well as NBA ambassadors Dikembe Mutombo and Hakeem Olajuwon.
"The NBA has worked hard to grow the game of basketball in Africa, and I am excited to take this next step of playing our first game on the continent," said Silver. "Our players have been tremendous partners in this effort, and all of us look forward to sharing the authentic NBA experience and the values of our game with fans in Africa."