Deng Deng's road has already taken him to four countries in three different continents, and depending on what happens over the next few months, his next stop could end up being Lincoln, Neb.
A 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward at Lee (Texas) College, Deng was born in Sudan and then moved to Egypt when he was 8 years old. He and his family then moved to Melbourne, Australia, where he spent seven years before committing to LSU last fall and heading to the United States.
However, a snag in his transcripts prevented him from enrolling at LSU, so he was forced to take the junior college route at Lee. Though the plan was for him to eventually come back to Baton Rouge, La., the Tigers ended up pulling his scholarship and moving on.
The good news for the three-star 2014 prospect is that it didn't take long for several other schools to immediately begin courting him, including picking up an offer from Nebraska.
Because of a long-standing relationship with NU assistant Chris Harriman, Deng told HuskerOnline.com that the Huskers immediately became one of his favorites as he looks to take the next step in his career. It turns out Harriman had recruited Deng while he was an assistant at Saint Louis since Deng, now 21, was an up-and-coming 16-year old in Melbourne.
"I'm really close friends with Coach Harriman," Deng said. "I've really gotten to know him, because he's Australian too. He's been recruiting me since I was in high school, so that's how my recruitment with Nebraska got started."
Having only lived in the U.S. for just over a year now, Deng admitted he didn't know much about America at this point, and especially not much about Nebraska. From his regular contact with Harriman, though, Deng said he has definitely heard about the momentum NU's basketball program has been building over the past year and a half.
"They have a good program," Deng said. "They play in a great conference. I know they have great facilities there. I've actually seen pictures of all of it. It looks really nice."
During his freshman season at Lee last year, Deng averaged 10 points and 7.5 rebounds per game to help lead the Rebels to their first-ever berth in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Tournament this past spring. He was the tallest player on Lee's roster last year, but Deng said he fits best at the wing position because of his versatility on both ends of the floor.
"Basically I'm a big, long player who can dribble and shoot and run," Deng said. "I can do it all. I don't really care what position I'm at. I just go and play."
At this point, Deng said he was mostly focused on school and his upcoming season as he gets ready to start his sophomore year at Lee, but would eventually start narrowing down his recruitment in the fall.
Deng holds other offers from Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Washington State and Utah, and is receiving interest from Seton Hall, Miami (Fla.), Texas A&M and Alabama. He said he has no list of favorites at this point, but already knows one school where he will definitely officially visit at some point this fall.
"I will definitely be coming to visit Nebraska, but I really don't know when," Deng said. "But I am going to come and visit. I don't have any other visits planned, but I know I will definitely come up there."
Once Deng does make it up to Lincoln, assuming he likes what he sees, he said he could easily see himself ending up a Husker when all is said and done.
"I don't see any reason why I wouldn't go there," Deng said when asked if he could see himself picking Nebraska. "It's one of the good programs, and you guys have a new arena and all that. It could be (where he commits), but I'm not sure yet. It's a process that you have to go through, and until I get up there, I don't know.
"I've known Coach Harriman for a while. He's not like one of those random coaches that come to you and talk to you about recruiting and stuff. I've been talking to him since I was 16. We have a strong relationship."