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Luol Deng

Kenya / Luol Deng visits the registration center for new arrivals at Kakuma refugee camp. / UNHCR / R. Gangale / July 2010

Kenya / Luol Deng meets basketball players, refugees in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya. / UNHCR / R. Gangale / July 2010

"I think, generally, people have a good idea that a refugee is someone who fled home, someone who is not in their homeland.

I don’t know if everyone thinks about it the same way. Because I have been through it, I know how tough it can be to be away from home.

I think for most people, the first thing about a refugee that springs to mind is that it means not being able to be in your own homeland."


About Luol

Luol Deng has been supporting UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency since 2010.

Luol Deng is a South Sudanese-British professional basketball star, and two-time National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star, whose personal refugee background has motivated him to support UNHCR for several years.

Born in 1985 in what is now South Sudan, Luol and his family fled the war and ended up as refugees in the United Kingdom, where he became a British citizen in 2005. Luol travelled to the United States to study in his teens and joined the Chicago Bulls in 2004 as a forward. In 2007, Luol pledged to donate $50 to UNHCR for every basket he scored during the season. At the time, he was playing for the Boston Celtics, but he moved to the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA in 2014.

Luol is involved with other humanitarian organisations, and in 2018 he gave considerable support on social media to the #WeWillRizeTogether project with charity IHeartAfrica which helps to build schools in Ghana. Luol travelled to South Sudan with UNHCR in 2010, and has also visited a refugee camp in Kenya assisted by UNHCR. He continues to lend his voice to the refugee cause via his social media.