It’s a big year for Sudan-born star Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls, one of the favorites for the National Basketball Association title. On Tuesday night, Deng scored on a layup with about four seconds left in the game to lift the Bulls to a 76-74 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

Luol Deng finished with 21 points and eight rebounds in the game against the Hawks, another excellent all-around performance for the 26-year-old forward, who is focusing not just on the NBA season, but also on this year’s Olympic men’s basketball tournament in London.

Luol Deng

Deng moved to England with his family when he was a boy and has both British and South Sudanese citizenship. He has represented Britain at both the youth level and the senior level in international competition, and he will play for host Britain once again at the 2012 Olympics, which officially open July 27 in London.

The Olympic men’s basketball tournament will feature 12 teams. The United States, the

Mike Krzyzewski

defending world and Olympic champion, is led by Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski, who guided Luol Deng for one season at Duke University in North Carolina.

After that one year of college basketball, Deng decided to turn professional in 2004. He’s developed into one of Chicago’s most consistent players, averaging more than 16 points and six rebounds a game in his first seven NBA seasons.

With the Bulls expected to challenge for the NBA title and his home country of Britain hosting the Olympics, 2012 could be Luol Deng’s most memorable basketball year yet.