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Luol Deng: Britain must snap up top NBA players

TALENT CALL: Luol Deng in action for Chicago Bulls (PA)

BRITISH BASKETBALL giant Luol Deng says organisers of the GB national team must convince more of the country’s top players in the NBA to pledge their services to the side if Britain is to leap to the next level.

The Chicago Bulls star said: “I’ve always said, we could be a great team, and could make a lot of noise in Europe.

“We certainly have the players to do it, in Joel [Freeland], Byron [Mullens], Ben [Gordon] and myself. I just think it’s now up to GB to make that commitment, and show how much they want to go after those guys and make sure that they play.”

Britain coach Joe Prunty has vowed to attract the best players eligible to play for his side, but so far his promise has failed to materialise.

Deng added: “With any player, it’s just like any other job, the more you show them attention and show them how interested you are, the more they want to play for you.

“GB has to be in touch with these guys, and even hire somebody who can go and watch them every now and then.

“I currently don’t see that being done. If a guy comes over once a month, and makes a road trip to see all the GB players, and just keeps them updated, I think that’s an encouraging factor, that shows the players that you care.”

British Basketball chief Roger Moreland said: “We know our players care deeply about GB as do we.

“We are constantly looking at every aspect of what we do to make things better.

“One of Joe Prunty’s biggest strengths is his ability to communicate and as an experienced NBA coach of long-standing, he is ideally placed to engage with the players in North America.”

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