Let stardom not get into your head – Deng to players

Let stardom not get into your head – Deng to players
South Sudan National Basketball team (photo credit: Luol Deng Foundation)

The President of the South Sudan Basketball Federation, Luol Deng, cautioned the male team against getting complacent after the heroic reception, adding that there is still a huge task ahead.

Deng said any iota of pride may bring a dangerous comfort that could make the team lose focus in the bid for qualifying for the world cup.

South Sudan is left with just one victory to secure their spot in the FIBA World Cup.

The team will play three more games in FIBA World Qualifiers in February 2023 in Senegal.

This is why the SSBA boss believes that the team is far away from the celebration and any urge to rejoice should be out of caution.

 “Sometimes we have to be very careful with success. Yes, we are on the right track, but at the same time, I am abide worried,” he said.

“Sometimes you may think you have reached [your goal] because of the joy that people are showing you but this may make you lose sight of the mission,” Deng said.

He was addressing attendees of a sendoff event for basketball players, which was organised by the fans in Juba.

The retired NBA Star reminded the players of what he went through before being known—he was driven by the motivation to be one of the best.

“It was about pushing myself every day to block people from giving me flowers every day,” he emphasised.

 “As a human being, you can get displaced easily when you just see people giving you joy and you forget that you still have way higher,” he added.

“So, let the players not be distracted by too many joys, flowers, and appropriation; the job is not yet done; the big job awaits us,” the former NBA star warned.