On March 9, 2004, there was little to make of Donald Trump’s comments during a Duke-North Carolina game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
“If you’re going to pick one player to be an Apprentice on your show, who would it be?” ESPN’s Doris Burke asked.
“Well I think No. 2 has been amazing for Duke. He’s really been amazing,” Trump responded, referring to Duke freshman Luol Deng.
He went on to add, “His touch around the basket has been amazing.”
Fast forward 13 years, and Donald Trump is now the president of the United States with an agenda that has included an executive order halting refugee intake and all immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries, including Sudan.
See, Deng—who scored a career-high 25 points during the 70-65 win against the Tar Heels—was a refugee from Sudan once. He was born there in 1985, fled to Egypt in 1990 and moved to London in 1994 before moving to the U.S. in 1999 and gaining British citizenship in 2006.
In other words, it appears Deng would not have been able to play in the United States under Trump’s policy until he gained British citizenship in his mid-20s, long after he matriculated at Duke. Deng is from a part of Sudan that in 2011 became South Sudan, but that was long after he moved to the United States and gained British citizenship.