NBA AND LUOL DENG FOUNDATION ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP TO SUPPORT BASKETBALL DEVELOPMENT IN THE UK

– DENG Academy to Feature Jr. NBA Clinic Led by Three-Time NBA Champion Bruce Bowen –

 LONDON, Jan. 12, 2014 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Luol Deng Foundation, a non-profit organisation that uses basketball as a tool to give hope to those in Africa, the U.S. and the UK, today announced a new partnership that will see the NBA support the DENG Academy, a basketball school of excellence run out of Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton founded by Miami Heat forward Luol Deng.

photoBased at the Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton, the DENG Academy aims to produce elite basketball players to feed into Brixton Topcats Basketball Club of the English Basketball League, while providing participation opportunities for up and coming players in the Brixton area. The partnership tips-off today at a clinic led by NBA Legend and three-time NBA Champion Bruce Bowen along with former NBA Assistant Coach Neal Meyer. As part of the partnership, the NBA will conduct Jr. NBA clinics focusing on basketball fundamentals through a series of fun and engaging skills stations.

Having played for the Topcats and with so many ties to the Brixton community, I am proud for the Luol Deng Foundation to be associated with the NBA on this initiative. The DENG Academy provides a platform to teach the values of the game including health and wellness, teamwork and respect while producing the next generation of home grown talent.                        – Luol Deng

“This partnership really speaks volumes of where both organisations see the future of DENG Academy,” said Steve Vear, CEO of the Luol Deng Foundation. “Not only on the basketball court, but also the life skills we want to instil in the kids. We look forward to the launch of the program this week and continuing our work with the NBA to elevate the game of basketball in the UK.”

“We are excited to extend our partnership with the Luol Deng Foundation and demonstrate our joint commitment to youth and elite development in London,” said Benjamin Morel, NBA Senior Vice President, Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Luol Deng is a tremendous role model for the youth through his play on the court and his work in the community, and we look forward to the success of the program.”

The NBA and the Luol Deng Foundation also partnered on the DENG Camp TOP 50, which took place in August 2014. The inaugural three-day residential basketball camp at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in London was aimed at the most talented male athletes ages 19 and under from across the UK, as selected by a panel of national and club team coaches.