This week we spend some time with up-and-coming Basketballer, Kiir Deng. After rising rapidly through the ranks in the local teams, Kiir was selected to represent Adelaide in the 2013 Sudanese Basketball Tournament, taking place in Melbourne. It was there that a talent scout approached him, offering him a chance to build his career, and from there his story unfolded. We caught up with Kiir to hear his progress.
Basketball is a hugely popular sport, particularly in the USA and Europe and Kiir, like many others, was easily drawn to it. “I was first inspired to play basketball when I was at home with my brothers just watching the NBA. Back then I was obsessed with soccer. I didn't really like basketball until I watched Kevin Durant. I was amazed by his skills-package and how he makes the game of Basketball seem so easy for a person of his height.”
Once Kiir began playing Basketball, he quickly shone in the local community. Taking up an offer to play a competition in Melbourne, it was there a golden opportunity presented itself. Kiir explained, “It all began when I was spotted playing for Adelaide in the Sudanese Basketball Tournament which was held in Melbourne in 2013. The scout came up to me during my team huddle and said I had great potential and he was more than happy to develop my skills. I gave the scouts my contact details and they got back to me as soon as I graduated in high school.
“I'm currently at a basketball academy in Melbourne called AUBD Institute. I train 9am to 3pm every day five times a week with other student athletes in order to get prepared for college environment. I just came back from America last week where I was given the opportunity to showcase my talent in front of a hundred College scouts.
“When I heard I was going to America, I was over the moon. I couldn't stop thinking about it every day, especially as it drew closer. I benefited immensely from my experience of playing basketball in America as it gave me an insight of what is required to play at the next level. In particular, maintaining a high level of intensity and concentration.
“For the future, if all goes according to plans, I hope to sign with a College in America on a full four-year scholarship, starting in August. My ultimate goal would be to play professional basketball in Europe, National Basketball Association (NBA), NBL, and hopefully represent Australia at International level.”
In reflection, Kiir mentioned the big influence St Columba College has had on his life and the impact of the community around him. “St Columba has helped me a lot along the way in many aspects, like self discipline, working hard towards my goals/dreams, and self-belief. Throughout my 5 years at St Columba, I enjoyed the company of friends that I met along the way. I also enjoyed the company of great teachers who I was privileged to work with.
“I’ve been lucky and had a few full scholarship offers from Division One schools, such as the University Of Chicago, Illinois, and a few others. However, I’m waiting on the results from my SAT test before they accept me into their school, given that literacy is an important part of an education. They aren’t just looking for basketball players, but educated student athletes. Depending on the results, I will sit down with my coaches and discuss which school offers the best opportunity both basketball-wise as well as education.”
The College wishes Kiir the best of success and will keep Coracle readers updated.
Paul Charles Marketing Manager