Luol Deng to David Cameron: “Basketball is too valuable to be chucked away”

Luol DengLess than a year after endless wrangling with FIBA and the International Olympic Committee to get Team Britain into the 2012 Olympic Games, governing body UK Sport seems fit to impart some slashing of the national basketball budget – this despite pressure from FIBA going into the London Games that an automatic bid for the men’s national team would be granted only with assurances that British basketball had some viable future.

An eleventh-hour debate on the basketball-funding question is slated for tonight and will be led by Conservative Party MP Stephen Mosley; an online petition created by Sam Neter of Britian-based Hoops Fix self-explanatorily called “Get UK Sport to Fund British Basketball” has over 11,650 “signatures” as of this writing.

Perhaps no one is taking the upcoming cuts more seriously than Chicago Bulls/Team Britain star Luol Deng, however. Deng today fired off a 1½-page open letter to British prime minister David Cameron in hopes of essentially saving the national program in the runup to the 2016 Olympics; the just-this-side-of-vitriolic text runs below.

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Clips: More basketball diplomacy by Obama; the Rise of British Basketball

(Obama, Cameron image courtesy The Toledo Blade)Speaking of Britain and basketball, BallinEurope this morning passes on a couple of Brit-centric clips…

Chicago Bulls fan/U.S. president Barack Obama yesterday displayed more of his trademark basketball diplomacy in taking his British counterpart, prime minister David Cameron, to the Mississippi Valley State-Western Kentucky NCAA tournament play-in game in Dayton, Ohio. Obama was proud to show a bit of the “great probable ‘swing state’ and thus 2012 presidential election-determining state of Ohio” to Cameron as the two enjoyed a furious rally by the Hilltoppers to upend the MVSU Delta Devils (sweet name, that), 59-58, and enter the Big Dance.

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