By Morris Rawal
A three-year agreement of understanding between Stanbic Bank South Sudan, NBA Africa, and the Luol Deng Foundation (LDF) has been signed to support junior league basketball in the nation.
The National Basketball Association of Africa, the Luol Deng Foundation, and Stanbic Bank South Sudan have pledged to build basketball courts across the country, starting in Juba.
The contract is crucial for the young South Sudanese who will be the country’s future leaders, according to Rebecca Nyanydeng, vice president for the Gender and Youth Cluster.
“I appreciate the leadership of the NBA Africa, Stanbic Bank, and Luol Deng Foundation for initiating the first ever junior basketball league in the country, and such initiatives would continue to attract more basketball players,” Gander and the Youth Cluster vice president stated.
According to Andrew Murugu, country head of Stanbic Bank of South Sudan, who was there, the deal is for three years and is estimated to be worth $100 million.
According to the deal, a basketball court will be constructed in Juba and eventually expanded to encompass all 50 states, he said.
“This partnership will see the league harness the skills of South Sudanese boys and girls under the age of 16 years old and is designed by the NBA to engage the youth in basketball,” Murugu said.
Luol Deng, the founder of the South Sudan Basketball Federation, thanked Stanbic Bank and the NBA Africa for collaborating with him to advance basketball in the country. The Luol Deng Foundation was founded by Luol Deng.
“Being a part of this cooperation makes me feel like it is incredibly important for our nation. I think that kind of backing will help our basketball develop,” he said
The other companies in the country were exhorted to join them in fostering sports in their own locales.
The agreement was signed at the Radisson Blue Hotel in Juba in front of Vice President Nyanydeng and other top government representatives.
The Stanbic Junior NBA League will feature South Sudanese youths under the age of sixteen.