The aftermath of the September 11th tragedy still hampers those who travel overseas or across this country. Such is the case for one of the top players in the class of 2003 -- Luol Deng, a highly skilled 6-8, 217 pound small forward from Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J. According to the coaching staff at Blair Academy, Deng is still in the Sudan. He visited family on a holiday break all Blair students receive.
"He has been unable to get back here due to the aftermath of September 11th," said head coach Joe Mantegna. "The problem with passports and all that stuff is giving him a problem in getting back here."
Blair Academy has been on holiday break. But they play St. Patrick's High School tonight. "He won't be there to play tonight," Mantegna said. "Hopefully he can get back here soon."
Blair Academy also has a big battle this upcoming weekend against the talented team of St. Benedict's. Mantegna is unsure whether Deng will be able to get back into the States by then to play in this huge matchup.
Deng is one of the top players in the class of 2003. He has mentioned serious interest in Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Villanova, Missouri, Florida and George Washington.
As a sophomore at Blair, Deng averaged 22 points, 12 rebounds and five assists per game. A multidimensional player, Deng can handle, pass and shoot the ball with tremendous efficacy for someone of his size.
Deng has done well at Blair, compiling roughly a B average in college prep type courses. He has yet to take the SAT or ACT, but hopes to do so this winter or spring.
Next 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.