Luol Deng

SpecialityPresident, South Sudan Basketball Federation

Luol Deng OBE is a 2-Time NBA All Star and President of the South Sudan Basketball Federation. Luol enjoyed a 15-year career as an elite competitor and is the fourth all time leading scorer for the Chicago Bulls. An international sportsman, Luol has been a key figure in the advancement of basketball in the UK, South Sudan, and the continent of Africa broadly. In 2021, Luol was awarded with the Order of the British Empire for his contributions to the sport.

Luol’s lifelong commitment to social impact is expressed through the Luol Deng Foundation, headquartered in Juba, South Sudan. Deng Academy, LDF’s flagship program, is a multi-court outdoor facility that runs year-round basketball programming for over 1,000 youth. The Academy leverages sport as a tool for access to education, health & wellness, gender equality, and providing an enduring safe space from conflict. Notable partners include USAID, US Embassy, and the Jr. NBA. In addition to sport for development, the NGO also supports medical supply distribution, sponsored surgeons trips, and emergency food relief.

As Federation President, Luol’s unprecedented success on the world stage is a case study for the transformative power of sport. From unranked in the world to the #1 Team in Africa, the Men’s National Team is the first team to qualify for the FIBA World Cup on its first try, ultimately clinching historic Paris 2024 Olympic berth. This improbable run was achieved without a home facility to train in. Luol capitalized on success abroad to drive growth locally, deepening investment in grassroots basketball, refurbishing courts in each state, and establishing the first ever women’s league. Basketball has since inspired hearts and minds in South Sudan and legitimized sports as a critical part of nation building.

Luol is also a proud investor in NBA Africa and Global Ambassador for its Basketball Africa League, cementing over a decade of deep involvement with the league’s grassroots strategy’s, from local camps and Basketball Without Borders to captaining Team Africa twice in the NBA’s exhibition games in South Africa.