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NBA Ace On Talent Scouting Mission

Sudanese-American National Basketball Association (NBA) scout and Harlem Globetrotters player 6.9 feet Deng Malual is in the country to recruit Kenyan players for the U.S. league.

Successful Kenyan players, including others recruited from the entire east African region, will be on a full basketball scholarship, during their tenure in the United States of America.

Speaking to the East African Standard at the Stanley hotel on Monday, Malual, who had a stint with NBA basketball team Cleveland Cavaliers in 1998, said he has been in Kenya for the last two weeks to lay out initial logistics and carry out the recruitment.

"I was recruited for this assignment by former NBA player Jerrod Mustaf as a basketball scout for the east African region. The region covers Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eriteria and Djibouti," he said.

"Mustaf, who played alongside Sudanese player Manut Bol in the NBA, is very keen about the east African region programme. West Africa already has a Senegalese scout, who has recruited 12 African players into the NBA," he added.

He said presently the region has very few basketball players in the NBA circuit, apart from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) NBA's Philadelphia player Dikimbe Matombo.

Malual, who is currently the Washington-based Lutheran Social Services Employment Advocate, said he is responsible for recruitment of most youth within the metro area of Washington, Maryland and Virginia.

The former basketball coach, who weighs 285 pounds, said the East African recruitment exercise will involve recruiting successful players on scholarship to several American universities Miami, Maryland, Wayland, Norfolk State, Colombia, among others, including high schools.

He said, while in the America, recruited players will initially be introduced to the NBA's minor feeder league Continental Basketball Association (CBA), before joining the former derby.

"This recruitment programme in the U.S is being carried out by a group called Street Basketball Association (SBA). The same group will be responsible for Kenya and neighbouring countries," Malual said.

The towering Malual said so far he has been attending practising sessions by Sudan's Imatong Buffaloes Basketball Club, currently training at YMCA Shauri Moyo, for the East and Central Club Championship, slated for Nairobi, from July 14-20.

At the same time, Malual disclosed plans by a US-based Christian organisation Prosecution Project Foundation (PPF) to build a basketball academy in Southern Sudan, to serve the east African region.

Malual, who was last week in South Sudan accompanied by PPF officials to distribute SBA basketball T-shirts and relief food, flew out of the country for U.S last night, through Uganda's Entebbe airport.

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