Coming to America - Deng & Pops Ep. 2 -

Coming to America – Deng & Pops Ep. 2

With the world locked down during the coronavirus pandemic, two British basketball stars, Luol Deng and Pops Mensah-Bonsu, set up a series of live discussions, hosted on Instagram Live, and with permission from their team we are hosting them on the Hoopsfix Podcast.

In Episode 2, aired on April 3rd 2020, they discussed their transition from the UK to the US, going to their respective high schools and how they adapted.

Hear from Luol and Pops on:

  • How Pops attended The Hun School of Princeton in NJ, originally not to play basketball
  • Why Luol made the jump to the US at 14 years old to attend Blair Academy
  • The mental preparation and mental mind-switch that occurred heading to the US
  • The crushing blow Pops suffered to find out he was on the Junior Varsity team
  • Adjusting from state school in London to some of the most prestigious and wealthiest high schools in the US
  • Luol had never used a laptop or computer before getting to the States
  • How Luol ended up forgetting his basketball shoes when moving to the US
  • Luol’s mindset in trying to prove himself and being on a mission to make it
  • Turning negatives into positives
  • How Deng tore up his first practice at Blair and was told by Coach Joe Mantegna he had a chance of making the NBA
  • The story of what happened when Pops and Luol met in the High Jump while competing in track & field
  • How Pops had more interest and offers to compete in High Jump at college than basketball
  • Why Pops ended up following the basketball route
  • The impact on Luol of having a coach who cared about him so much
  • Luol getting the keys to the gym at Blair for 6am workouts
  • Charlie Villanueva joining Luol at Blair Academy, and then their team starting to get a lot of national recognition
  • The talk of Luol and Charlie skipping college to go straight to the NBA
  • How Pops used Luol’s success as motivation to work on his own game
  • What motivated both of them to pursue basketball, and trying to change their lives
  • How social media has impacted high school basketball now
  • The number of kids coming over to the US and getting in the wrong situation
  • And much, much, more!

Follow @LuolDeng9 and @PopsMBonsu on Instagram.

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