Funding Cut For Basketball Prompts NBA's Deng To Launch Brixton Academy
NBA player Luol Deng, in conjunction with Nike, Evelyn Grace Academy and Reforming Black Britain, will launch his first basketball academy this summer in his adopted hometown of Brixton, South London. DENG Academy will provide an exit route into Brixton Topcats Basketball Club at the elite and grassroots development level (Luol Deng Foundation). In London, Ben Jefferson wrote that the move was motivated by "UK Sport's controversial decision to cut" basketball funding because of the game's "slim medal prospects." Deng "spent his formative years in Brixton after moving to England from Sudan" before he left for the U.S. to play in the NBA. He said he wants to help British kids "follow in his footsteps." Deng said, "UK Sport deciding to cut British Basketball funding is hard to take, as I felt that we have all done so much to grow the sport and the national team. It's just something you have to fight through. Growing basketball in the U.K. has always been important to me and it's something I will continue to do through my foundation" (EXPRESS, 2/20).