Chicago Bulls star and former south Norwood resident Luol Deng has become a patron of the London Youth Games for 2009.

Deng will help promote the games to youngsters across the capital and get them into sport.

He will also appear at the London Youth Games finals, leading a training session with the winners of the basketball competition on July 4.

A former competitor at the games in the 1990s, Deng will be back in England to play for the Chicago Bulls when they face Utah Jazz as part of NBA Europe Live, presented by EA Sports on October 6 at the O2.

He said: “This is an event very close to my heart.

"I really enjoyed playing in it as a kid and competing against friends from other boroughs.

"It’s a real pleasure to be asked to be patron and I hope that by giving something back I can help inspire the next generation of British athletes.”

The former St Mary's Roman Catholic High School pupil became only the fifth British player ever to be selected for the National Basketball Association (NBA) drafts, which saw him secure a £3.25million contract to play for basketball stars the Chicago Bulls.

Born in Sudan in 1985, Luol is the second youngest child of nine born to Martha and Aldo Deng, members of the Dinka tribe who are renowned for their height and good health.

The family were granted asylum in the UK in 1993 and were housed in Stanger Road, South Norwood, where they still live today.

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