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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

London Olympics 2012 - the cost of insuring Basketball star Luol Deng

Mostly the prices of articles or services go up and we end up paying more for the same year after the year.  Insurance product is not so – effectively the market forces pull the rates down and all Insurers are suffering the down syndrome – the falling prices and end up collecting much lesser premium for the same risk or even for a higher Sum Insured than that of last year.  In such a scenario, how would any Insurer react to a premium of around Rs.2.62 crores !!!!!!!!

Before you try to locate that source of business, Dinka is an ethnic group inhabiting the a region in the  Nile basin.  They are mainly agripastoral people, relying on cattle herding at riverside camps in the dry season and growing millet and other varieties of grains.   This man belonging to Dinka clan ethnic group moved from his birth place to Egypt to escape civil war.  Since birth, he has lived in Egypt, UK and USA.  He is a famous sportsperson -  represented England at Under-16 and Under-19 level, and is an ambassador for the London 2012 Olympic Games. In October 2006, he  became a naturalised British citizen in a ceremony in Croydon and was called up to play in European competition for the Great Britain team.

He is  Luol Deng, 27 years of age, a  professional basketball player for the National Basketball Association's Chicago Bulls and the Great Britain national basketball team. He plays the small forward position. He was selected to his first All Star game during the 2011–12 NBA season, joining teammate Derrick Rose.   He was born in what is now South Sudan, Deng fled the country with his family as a child, moving to Egypt and then the United Kingdom, becoming a British citizen in 2006.  The amount that read represents the insurance premium that is to be paid to ensure his participation in Olympics which the  Britain's basketball chiefs have vowed to cover   !!!!

No doubt it is not the normal premium for any other Star and seemingly is high cost insurance for the Chicago Bulls star.  Deng has been nursing a wrist injury for the closing months of the NBA season, a pre-existing condition which means his lucrative $27-million-dollar contract is not covered by the league's insurance during the Olympics.  That would only mean that British Basketball will  have to find around £300,000 pounds to insure Deng for the games this summer, according to some reports -an enormous amount for the relatively cash-strapped governing body.  British Basketball has already in the past paid additional insurance to cover an old back injury sustained by Deng, but cash for the new premium will have to be found by diverting resources from other programmes, officials said.

It is stated that Luol Deng is hugely committed to the British Basketball programme and he has maintained this stance, despite recent pressure for him not to play after injuring his wrist during the highly-demanding shortened NBA season.  Authorities of the British Basketball stated that they admire and support the player’s stance and the fact that Luol has been managing his body extremely well, as revealed by the high amount of minutes he was able to play for his club after sustaining the injury in January this year.

The Basketball authority spokesperson is quoted as saying "We pride ourselves on having an expert medical team for all our players and he will receive the best possible care when he is with us. Our world-leading staff are now widely known and accepted in the greater basketball community and we have worked very hard to build this reputation over the last six years.  "The insurance to cover Luol is always expensive due to his high value, and due to the back exclusion placed on him by the NBA's insurers some years ago.  "Our medical expert opinion remains that his back is no worse than others in the NBA but we have had to continue to cover this as we are contracted to do.

The injured wrist situation has made the already  exorbitant premium even more expensive but Britain in basketball circles is not big and as a emerging Nation wants that Luol Deng must play at any cost and hence willing to pick up the costs of additional insurance.  Some in social media have tweeted suggestions that  Luol Deng, with an annual salary in excess of £10 million, should pay the £300,000  insurance money currently being demanded by the Chicago Bulls if he wants to play in the Olympics  but Sports authorities feel that Deng has already made enough sacrifices for Great Britain. Deng has been there in UK for the past 5 years except 2009 and has cut down his rest time to play for the minnows of world basketball.  The authorities are also categorically clear that there can be a notion that some can be wealthy enough to buy their way into a National team.  

Though NBA has its own insurance programme, Deng has been identified as one of NBA’s high risk list of players and hence the expensive additional cost which the British Basketball is now willing to bear.  That is the way some Countries nurture and strategise their plans for medals or high performance in specific Sports.

At a personal level, Luol Deng has been associated with numerous charities, including UK children's charity School Home Support and  Lost Boys of Sudan and other refugees. He is also a spokesperson for the World Food Programme.

The countdown to London Olympics 2012 has already begun in some circles

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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