Young South Sudanese consider basketball as an opportunity to get relaxed in an environment ravaged by civil war. They tussle to get enrolled in Kenyan universities where they study and also develop their careers.
Sixteen of them have succeeded to develop their careers through this procedure.
“South Sudan has the best talent in basketball right now. In most of the schools in Kenya, they are looking for South Sudanese talented boys and girls for scholarships for basketball and Education. Thats why we came for the programme here,“Kenyan agent, Wilex Moses said.
The many emerging basketball players in South Sudan draw inspiration from international basketball player Luol Deng. He plays with the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA.
“ All South Sudanese know Luol Deng and we know what he did to us. He is a good player for us. Actually when he came just like all the people I came to play with them and their hobby is playing basketball like him,“basketball player, Lual Wadang said.
Eager to encourage young talent, Luol Deng has constructed training grounds to boost the game in South Sudan.
“We have’ to really encourage them. And we have to really give them motivation and give them the way forward that the new Sudan generation can believe in better, and we have to have the South Sudan we want,” Anir Majok, member of South Sudan’s basketball Federation said.
South Sudan’s basketball federation was recognised last year by the International Olympic Committee. This now gives the players prospects of better career growth.