Basketball: Luol Deng writes to Prime Minister over funding
Britain's NBA star pleads with David Cameron to restore funding to basketball
Monday 28 January 2013
British basketball's biggest superstar Luol Deng has written to Prime Minister David Cameron pleading for UK Sport to restore funding to the sport.
The sport discovered last month it will receive zero funding in the run-up to the Rio 2016 Olympics - a cut of £8.5million compared to the London 2012 cycle.
British Basketball will meet funding quango UK Sport on Wednesday to ask for it to reconsider, and has attracted top-level support from Deng, who plays for the Chicago Bulls in the NBA.
His letter to the Prime Minister states: "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 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."
Deng, 27, played for GB's basketball team in the London Olympics. He was born in Sudan, became a British citizen in 2006 and went to school in Croydon, south London and began his career at Brixton Basketball Club.
The player's support has been hailed by British Basketball.
The body's performance chairman Roger Moreland said: "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."
British Basketball is also considering lodging a formal appeal to the Sport Dispute Resolution Panel.
Stephen Mosley, MP for Chester, has secured an adjournment debate in Parliament on 'Funding for Basketball' which will take place tonight.
Latest in Sport
Manchester United can learn lessons from the transfer template of rivals Manchester City
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea top the list of the Premier League's most expensive squads
Harry Kane: Tottenham striker confident of rediscovering goal-scoring form after chat with Alan Shearer
Cyprus vs Wales match report: Gareth Bale's bullet header has Welsh on brink of Euro 2016
Bayern Munich 'training camp' to supply refugees with food, footballs and German lessons
- 3 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 4 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 200,000 back our campaign
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company produces a wide ra...
£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...
£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...