At last year’s camp too many of the players were out of shape. For me it’s never acceptable to consider yourself an elite player if you’re not in elite condition. It frustrated me so much that I had to stop the camp and talk to the campers about it. It really bothered me. We even had to change the schedule because players were always at the physio’s with their bodies breaking down.
I came to find out that some people waited until they were selected to then start to work out before the camp. This is a really bad habit to have and a culture we must change. You have to always stay ready. Not just with your skills but with your conditioning. You should never have a reason to wait. The time is right now to put in all you have.
I’m writing this message to urge not just players who think they will make the Top 50 camp this year but to all players of all age and genders. Don’t for one second think you can take time off. I didn’t and it’s a big reason where I am today. I worked and continue to work everyday. There is a reason I’m able to play all these minutes in the NBA. I don’t cheat the game – I put in the work.
I don’t want to have to come to my camp again or go to any basketball clinic, camp or event and see kids out of shape. It’s not going to cut it but with many things in life it’s your choice. I know what I chose.
- Luol Deng
DENGTOP50 is a 4-day residential camp that will invite 50 of the nation’s brightest talents to put their abilities to the test in a bid to be ranked the UK’s #1.
Each of the 50 players will be hand-selected by a consortium of coaches and basketball affiliates all over the UK where they will undergo a series of individual drills, combine testing, classroom analysis, strength and conditioning training and competitive games.
On day one, following a series of evaluations that evening, players will be given an initial ranking. As the Camp progresses, each players’ performance will influence their position and, on the final day an official rankings list will be announced in front of an audience of basketball enthusiasts. A dedicated media team will follow the players’ every movement and capture exclusive footage for Luol’s social media channels, including mic’d up coaches and player diaries.
With the conviction that this new direction is in the best of interests of the players and the national team, Luol is as upbeat and as motivated as ever. We hope you will enjoy being part of the journey and wish all players the very best of luck.