Great Britain international Luol Deng has dished out an assist in the country of his birth after making a first trip to the Sudan in 20 years.
The Chicago Bulls forward, who will report for GB duty next week, visited the Kakuma Refugee Camp as part of a goodwill trip to Kenya and Sudan through the UN High Commission for Refugees.
The 25-year-old, whose family fled to London when he was six, provided £60,000 in funding to rebuild Udichi Primary School, which was destroyed during the long-running civil war in the country.
“We don’t want that to be the case for the kids,” said Deng. “We have a chance to change it and build more schools and help more kids and that is how we turn the country (around).”
He added: “We Sudanese should focus on the kids who need to go to school in order to become smarter than we are.”
Amanda Seller, Director of Fundraising at UNHCR Geneva, described the NBA player as an inspiration.
“Luol Deng, who was once a refugee in the West, is a wonderful example for all people … that refugees can rebuild their country when we give them hope and the means to resettle their lives,” she said. “We hope Deng’s contribution will have a great impact.”
Deng has his own charitable foundation, based in London, that targets education and welfare projects in Africa, as well as on both sides of the Atlantic.
“If I make one kid happy today, this means I have already done something," he added.