Chicago Bulls basketball star Luol Deng is having one of the best seasons of his professional career.  Through 33 games, Deng has averaged about 18 points and six rebounds a game for the Bulls, who were leading the National Basketball Association’s Central Division 5 January 2011 with a record of 23-10.

The 25-year-old Deng is in his seventh NBA season.  He decided to turn pro after only one year at Duke University, which has one of the most successful men’s college basketball programs in the United States, led by Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski.  Coach Krzyzewski will also lead the world champion USA men’s basketball team at the 2012 London Olympics.

Like “Coach K,” Luol Deng is also looking forward to the London Games.  He’ll play for Olympic host Great Britain.  When Deng was eight-years-old, his father was granted political asylum in England, and Deng has chosen to represent that country in international competition.

However, Deng’s heart is also in Sudan, where he was born, and he says he’s eagerly awaiting the Southern Sudan independence referendum on 9 January.  Deng says he’ll be casting a symbolic vote for his late Sudanese countryman Manute Bol, who helped teach him basketball and who was also a member of the Dinka tribe.