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
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Sami Khedira to Arsenal? Arsene Wenger reveals Gunners are still in the market for defensive midfielder
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Risky business to think Balotelli can replace Suarez
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football
Paul Scholes: Manchester United need five experienced players who can turn round a desperate situation
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 3 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Administrator - Tunbri...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + 5 weeks holiday & benefits: Ashdown Group: Head of...
£21588 - £31566 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education ar...
£110 - £125 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education are ur...