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Ex-NBA star foots bill for South Sudan



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South Sudan basketball team are enjoying every moment of their stay in Nairobi courtesy of former NBA star Luol Deng who has broken the bank for the team.

And the team has not disappointed, dominating the ongoing Fiba Afro Basketball Pre Qualifiers currently on going at the Nyayo National stadium Gymnasium, winning all the matches they have played thus far.

Deng, who has a rich history in basketball having played for several top NBA teams until his retirement, returned to take up the management of the sport in his country and was elected President of the South Sudan Basketball Federation, a position he is using to ensure the game grows to greater heights.

The down to earth Deng has booked the team at the four star Hill Park Hotel in upmarket Upper Hill, where his is coffing an average Sh10,000 per room per player and has ensured all the members of the team are booked in single rooms for comfort.

And to further motivate the players, the ex NBA star on Wednesday treated the Sudanese team to a dinner at the posh Village market ahead of their match against stubborn Burundi, whom they whitewashed 100-59 to maintain their position at the top of table.

Meanwhile, Tanzania showed class thumping Eritrea 101-69 in their second match of the championship on Thursday.


Tanzania, who have only registered six players for the event after the rest of the members of the team failed to travel at the last minute, took an early 23-19 lead in the first quarter and stretched the lead 51-38 at the break.

Ally Mohammed led the score card with a game high 29 points, while Eric John managed 22 points in this match that left Eritrea winless after three games.

Abiel Zeru and Bilal Abduselam managed 12 points each for the losers.

In the second match of the day, South Sudan made light work of Burundi with a brilliant display that kept the partisan crowd at Nyayo entertained.

Point guard Teny Puot was the star of the match with a game high 33 points and Mathiang Muo managed 16 points. Guibert Nijimbere was Burundi’s star with 16 points.

“We are taking it one game at a time. We have Tanzania tomorrow (Friday) then Kenya on Saturday so ours is to simply scout and plan for each game,” South Sudan coach Ajou Deng said after the match.


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