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The Basketball Africa Leaue (BAL) as on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, appointed two-time National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star and 2012 Olympian, Luol Deng as BAL Global Ambassador.

The appointment of the former Chicago Bulls forward who hails from South Sudan, a landlocked region in East-Central Africa, comes after his retirement from a 15 year NBA career.

Speaking on the new position of Deng, BAL President, Amadou Gallo Fall said, “I am thrilled to work with Luol in his new role as BAL Global Ambassador.”

Gallo Fall has described Deng as “a great leader and an inspiring role model,” and remarked that, the former Bulls forward has been “an integral part of our youth development efforts and has taken part in many of our initiatives across the continent since 2011.”

Deng, who is currently the South Sudan Basketball Federation president has also said, he is “honored to represent the BAL as the league’s Global Ambassador.”

“We have a tremendous amount of talent in Africa and I am excited that some of that talent will be showcased through our new league, Deng noted.

The BAL is a joint effort of FIBA and the NBA, and 12 teams are scheduled to start their inaugural season in March, 2020.

Two-time NBA All-Star player, Luol Deng during his days at Chicago Bulls

The 2020 league will feature squads from Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia, while qualification tournaments will be held later this year to determine the inaugural participants.

Deng was the 7th overall pick by the Phoenix Suns in the 2004 NBA Draft and was subsequently traded to the Chicago Bulls where he played from 2004-2014.

He also played for the Cleveland Cavaliers (2014), Miami Heat (2014-16), Los Angeles Lakers (2016-18) and Minnesota Timberwolves (2018-19), before signing a one-day contract with the Chicago Bulls to retire as a Bull ahead of the 2019-20 NBA Season.

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