Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng has chosen to alter his player introduction this season, deciding to be introduced from his home country of South Sudan instead of his alma mater, Duke.
Deng says that he has no problem with the Blue Devils, and that him and Coach K are still close. The small forward simply wanted to honor his native country:
"A lot of times we'll still say South Sudan and a lot of people you're in Sudan, but we're our own nation now. So (as a way) of recognition, whoever's sitting in the crowd, or listening at home on TV and hears that, they can go and Google it. South Sudan is it's own nation, so I'm proud of that."
South Sudan officially became an independent country on July 9, 2011, passing a referendum to separate from Sudan with more than 98 percent of the vote. Deng wanted to acknowledge his country's independence last season, but did not feel like he had the opportunity. South Sudan has also been admitted as a member of the African Union, as well as the United Nations.
This is not the first time Deng has chosen to honor his home continent. The small forward memorably held up a a shirt with the outline of Africa at last season's All-Star game in Orlando.