football

Class Acts: Luol Deng Joe Mantegna

MONTVILLE, CONNECTICUT -- It was just another day at the office for Luol Deng -- 29 points, 12 rebounds, and four blocks. His team did not succeed like he did -- Blair Academy lost to St. Thomas More on Saturday afternoon.
But despite St. Thomas More holding sizeable leads, Deng was hustling all over the court and trying to inspire his team. Deng is a highly skilled 6-8, 217 pound small forward who can beat you up from in the paint or near the three-point line.
"All I am trying to do now is help my team win the league championship," Deng said. "I think we have to play with the same intensity for both halves. We didn't do that today."
Deng is a class act too. He shakes hands willingly and says thank you to all well wishers. He thanks the fans for coming to watch him play. Deng is a coachable recruit too. A dream for every college coach is to be able to sign someone of his character and skill. "I am glad to have this chance to play here," Deng said. "I just want our team to win the playoffs."
His coach, Joe Mantegna, is also a class act. They form a terrific combination. They each respect each other and appear to like being in each other's company. Mantegna has done a terrific job in guiding Deng through the American experience of playing top level high school basketball. Now, Mantegna and Deng are focused on the next task.
The playoffs being this Friday. Blair should be the number one or number two seed. It's likely more college coaches will make the trip to Blair this upcoming weekend for these games. Time is running out to watch Deng play for Blair this season.
Blair has an interest in Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Villanova, Missouri, Florida and George Washington.
This July Deng does plan on attending the Nike All-American Camp and playing in AAU events with Rich Leary's New Jersey Demons squad. He may attend several spring events with the Demons depending on that program's travel schedule.
"I don't have a leader," Deng said. "I like a lot of schools right now. I am just going to focus on my school year and the rest of the season."
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