Luol Deng to launch UK Basketball Academy
In partnership with Nike, Evelyn Grace Academy and Reforming Black Britain, Luol Deng will launch his first ever basketball Academy this coming summer in his adopted hometown Brixton, South London.
DENG Academy will have a huge impact in the community of Brixton, providing an exit route into Brixton Topcats Basketball Club at the elite and grass roots development level. DENG Academy will provide athletes with the best opportunities on and off the basketball court, in and outside of the classroom. Teaming up with Reforming Black Britain to add a mentoring programme really helps to achieve this, as explained by founder Jason Marriner.
“Adding a customised mentoring scheme to the DENG Academy has been amazing. We want to ensure that these young people learn key life skills and values in addition to the basketball provision. Using mentors in the school to help guide these younger kids is vital for growth within the entire school and community, as well as providing outlets for them off the basketball court. We are excited to be apart of such a great project and look forward in helping to grow the DENG Academy.”
The key partnership has been between Luol Deng Foundation and Evelyn Grace Academy which has been the main reason that DENG Academy can be launched where CEO, Steve Vear emphasises the constant growth of this relationship.
“Evelyn Grace have been everything you could ask for. Open, flexible, reliable and passionate about basketball. We have been able to start a great relationship with the PE department which in turn has relayed onto the kids. We have already started our work in the school fine tuning the Academy where we will officially launch in the summer when Luol is in the UK. Overall, all of the plans are running smoothly and this has been down to the hard work of everyone involved.”
The DENG Academy will have a structured player pathway model to ensure athletes progress through competing in central venue and national leagues, as well as advance to LDF summer projects such as DENG Camp and DENG Girls. The Academy will also have a scholarship fund to place the most talented kids in US high schools to help follow in Luol’s footsteps. Darrel Barsby, Head of PE at EGA has been blown away by the plans for the Academy and can’t wait to for the official launch in the summer.
“Having Luol Deng himself come into our school last year to the first meeting to discuss this project really blew me away. It showed to all of us that this was something serious to him and his Foundation. The plans with his Foundation and Reforming Black Britain have been set in place where having a professional coach in everyday helping our kids has just been amazing to see. I’m looking forward for Luol to see the project and for the official launch when he arrives this summer”.