Jack Majewski speaks to Luol Deng after Great Britains performance in the London 2012 International Basketball Invitational Test Event in preparation for the European Championships in Lithuania.
JM: Luol, at the age of 26 you have found yourself almost as a veteran of this team. Your backcourt all of a sudden became very young. No one denies these boys have talent but will they be experienced enough to handle the pressure on the international stage?
Deng: I really hope so, at this moment everything is really new to them. There is no doubt that the more games they play, the more rhythm and experience they will get. Having said so they are a very good players and their inclusion in the squad will benefit us in the future.
JM. It is a really commendable and brave decision on Chris Finches part to set a policy of bringing a young generation of players to the National team. It looks like for the first time in the history, GB has got a chance of establishing themselves as a permanent feature on the highest level of international basketball.
Deng: Definitely, he made a very smart decision. This is the right way to build basketball in this country and that is how basketball will grow in the UK.
JM: What are your predictions for the European Championship? .You have a very tough group which includes defending champions Spain and the host nation Lithuania. You missed Eurobasket 2009 but now the team is built around you.
Deng: We have an incredibly difficult group. Right now we need to concentrate on how much better we can become. There are so many things which we need to work on, including my own role in the team. Hopefully we will be ready for the start of tournament in Lithuania.
JM: You mentioned your role on the team. How far are you from your optimal form? You looked pretty good in the second half of the game against Australia.
Deng: Yeah, I attacked much stronger; I think I also timed my penetrations better. I hit a couple of jumpers, which was a problem against China. Overall I think I played much better than against China. It will take a couple of more practices to be fully integrated with this team, but I will be ready.