first_imgMOST READ View comments Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Team ‘Trabaho’ scores championship title at the last leg of Smart Siklab Saya Manila If Deng’s past is anything to go by, the Lakers have made a shrewd investment. Time and again, Deng has faced down all challenges successfully.A tumultuous early life saw him move to Egypt with his mother and eight brothers and sisters as Sudan’s civil war raged.His father, a government minister, was later arrested and imprisoned after a military coup before fleeing to Britain in 1993 and claiming political asylum.Reunited with his family in London, Deng quickly embraced his new surroundings. He became an avid Arsenal fan, idolizing striker Ian Wright, before his rapidly developing frame persuaded him to concentrate on basketball.Rebuilding projectWhile playing for his local club — the Brixton Topcats — he was spotted by an American talent scout, who swiftly offered him a scholarship to the prestigious Blair Academy private school in New Jersey.ADVERTISEMENT Record-setting Warriors add Durant for ‘Superteam’ status BREAKING: Solicitor General asks SC to forfeit ABS CBN’s franchise “Success for everybody’s going to be something different,” he said. “The important thing for us is to focus on the fundamentals — build the right atmosphere, play hard every game, play unselfishly, play for each other. That’s what I’m here to try and do.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Brad Pitt wins his first acting Oscar as awards get underway 30 Filipinos from Wuhan quarantined in Capas Ginebra teammates show love for Slaughter Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Luol Deng #9 of the Los Angeles Lakers speaks to members of the press during Los Angeles Laker media day at Toyota Sports Center on September 26, 2016 in El Segundo, California. Harry How/Getty Images/AFPWhether fleeing civil war in Sudan with his family or moving to the United States on a scholarship as a 14-year-old, Luol Deng is no stranger to new beginnings.The 31-year-old British forward’s nomadic existence has now taken him to Hollywood, where he is expected to be a key figure as the Los Angeles Lakers attempt to rebuild after the worst season in their history.ADVERTISEMENT Deng arrived as a wide-eyed 14-year-old, alone and homesick, but determined not to waste the opportunity of a lifetime. By the time of his senior year, he was regarded the second most valuable high school prospect in the United States after LeBron James.After one season at Duke University — playing for legendary “Coach K” Mike Krzyzewski — Deng entered the NBA draft in 2004, and was chosen as the seventh pick overall by the Phoenix Suns before being immediately traded to Chicago.Twice named to the NBA All-Star team in 2012 and 2013, Deng has yet to land an NBA Finals ring, with the closest he has come being a defeat in the Eastern Conference finals with Chicago in 2011.With the Lakers crashing to their worst-ever 17-65 season last year, Deng is unlikely to be challenging for championship honors with his new employers any time soon. Nevertheless, he remains enthused by the challenge of a daunting rebuilding project.“At this point in my career, even though I’ve been in the league 13 years, I’ve still got a lot of basketball to play. There’s a lot I could do,” Deng said.“From my perspective, whatever happened here last season, that’s the past. “For the group now, this is a new beginning and we’ve got a lot to prove. “We’ve got young guys who’ve got a lot to learn but also who are willing to work hard and improve. We’ve got a system that is really exciting.”Deng is wise enough to avoid setting concrete season targets for an inexperienced team still in transition. Deng joined the Lakers on a four-year $72 million deal in July, lured by the possibility of working with new coach Luke Walton at the start of a long-term project to revive the iconic franchise.Deng’s arrival provides a young Lakers squad with a pillar of maturity, bringing grit and a wealth of experience gleaned from previous stints with the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSCone plans to speak with Slaughter, agent“It’s a new chapter for me. This is my 13th year now. I’m looking forward to being a part of it and leading the young guys,” Deng told AFP at a Lakers media session.“I’m only 31, so I still have a lot of playing in me. I’m looking forward to being a leader on and off the court through my work ethic.” BREAKING: Solicitor General asks SC to forfeit ABS CBN’s franchise EDITORS’ PICK Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town We are younglast_img

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