Former NBA All-Star, Luol Deng has been awarded with an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s birthday honours list for his services to basketball.
Deng is recognised for the role he has played in British basketball since coming to England as an eight year-old refugee from South Sudan.
The former Brixton Topcat junior drastically changed the landscape of the sport in the UK, turning Great Britain to Division B no-hopers to Division A front-runners, leading them to a maiden EuroBasket birth in 2009.
Deng, who enjoyed a 15-year career in the NBA, gaining two All-Star appearances, also led GB in the 2012 Olympics in London.
“I’m truly honoured to be awarded with the Order of British Empire joining such a prestigious group of people,” Deng said.
“I will always be thankful for the opportunity provided by UK for me and my family as a refugee.”
Over the course of his 902-game NBA career, Deng averaged 14.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 34.3 minutes per game.
Deng was named to the 2011-12 All-Defensive Second Team and the 2004-05 All-Rookie First Team. He won the Sportsmanship Award in 2006-07 and was the recipient of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, an honour given to a player who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community.
In international play, Deng represented Great Britain 41 times, averaging 21.7 points, 7.3 rebounds 3.4 assists and 1.5 steals, leading the first British team to compete in an Olympic Games since 1948.
The 36-year-old remains an important part of growing basketball in Britain, hosting an annual summer camp for over a decade which became an elite top 50 camp in 2014, and establishing the Luol Deng Foundation as a charity based in South Croydon.
Following his retirement from the game in 2019, Deng was appointed President of the South Sudan Basketball Federation, and continues to have major impact on his home continent, having recently been revealed as an investor in NBA Africa.