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Deng wants Downing Street to restore UK basketball’s funding

PLEDGE: Deng

TEAM GB’S men’s basketball captain has written a letter to 10 Downing Street urging UK Sport to rethink their decision to completely cut the sport’s funding.

British Basketball had their funding completely withdrawn after winning only one of five matches at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

However, small forward Luol Deng, who plays for NBA side Chicago Bulls, pleaded to Prime Minister David Cameron to restore British Basketball’s funding.

The 27-year-old two-time All-Star, who was an Olympic ambassador, said in his letter: "We all heard about the 'legacy' that London 2012 was going to bring to sport in the UK and I refuse to sit back and let that legacy be completely demolished for basketball. I, along with other people involved in the game, have put too much in and care too greatly to let this happen.”

The Sudanese-born Deng continued: "The sport of basketball is a pathway, a pathway that teaches so many valuable lessons on and off the court, how are we supposed to motivate these kids to carry along their journey when there's now nothing at the end? No Team GB, no Olympic dream, no goal."

British Basketball’s performance chairman Roger Moreland added: "Luol's support for us is massively important. He recognises the value of funding, not just for the elite levels of sport but to carry on investing in grass roots and creating a route for young people to realise their dreams."

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