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PORT ANGELES — Jal Deng of Anchorage, Alaska, is the most recent player to join the Peninsula College men’s basketball team.
Deng, a 6-foot-2 wing who played for 2011 Alaska state-champion Bartlett High School alongside current Pirates point guard Treshawn King-Dunbar, has signed his letter of intent to play for head coach Lance Von Vogt at Peninsula.
“I chose Peninsula to win a championship,” Deng said.
“I’ve developed a good relationship with Coach V over the past year, and I also wanted to team up with my old buddy Treshawn, and win another ring here at Peninsula College with him.
“It means a lot to receive a scholarship from one of the top junior college basketball programs in the country.
“The expectations are high. It is a top program and you have to come in and produce. I like the challenge.”
Deng joins Dustin Watts and Noah Everly as members of the 2013 recruiting class.
With his combination of length and athleticism, Von Vogt said Deng plays more like his 6-foot-4, which is reminiscent of a former Pirates all-division player.
“[Deng’s] strength is playing all facets of the game,” Von Vogt said. “He is a strong rebounder from the perimeter position and has the ability to defend multiple positions.
“We lost our Swiss Army knife with Djuan Smith moving on, but Jal may be the guy to help us fill that role for the upcoming season.
“Those are pretty big shoes to fill, but I think that he could be the guy that steps up to the challenge.”
At Bartlett, Deng was named All-Region, Region MVP and to the All-State Tournament Team among other honors. He averaged 11 points, nine rebounds and three assists per game as a senior.
Deng was born in the Sudan, but moved with his family to the United States just a few months after his birth.
The family settled in Anchorage, Alaska, where Deng grew up and learned to play basketball.
Deng has met many of his family members from the Sudan when they have visited the United States, but he has yet to return to the Sudan himself.
“Jal is a hard worker who carries himself with a strong presence on and off the basketball court,” Von Vogt said.
“Jal is soft-spoken, but when he speaks, it carries weight and conviction.”