Posted On: 06/21/18 4:08 PM
Last season, Storm Lake’s versatile 6-foot-3 wing Cham Deng had a breakout season with the Tornadoes. Now, he’s cementing himself as one of Iowa’s up-and-coming 2019 college prospects.
As a sophomore, Deng was good, but he elevated his game to new heights last season while helping his squad to a an 11-10 mark. It’s his athleticism and all-around skill-set that’s made him such a threat.
“I play all around, can play anything on the court. I’m continuing to work on my quickness and footwork to help my post game along with my pull-up game. I’m looking to always get stronger and work more on my vocal skills,” said Deng.
As a junior, Deng led the Tornadoes in scoring (14.4 PPG) and rebounding (7.9). He took the reins as the team’s leader. But it became about more than just basketball, and he started to see himself blossom into a community leader as well.
“My role my junior season was to fill some big shoes and be the leader of the team, I had to be a vocal leader, always had to set an example for my teammates,” said Deng. “Kids around the community were starting to look up to me, so I had to be a role model who set examples for them, and continue to motivate them to get better.”
He added: “For me, personally, I thought it was a pretty big year. I put up some numbers, outplayed some really good players, and got some awards for trusting the process.”
Next season, with Deng back and with the addition of a top 2019 guard, Mach Nyaw, Storm Lake will be a team that could contend for state. Rising senior Malga Yanga will also be critical to the team’s success.
“My senior season role doesn’t change at all, I’m still the leader and have to be a better leader to achieve the goal we want, and that is to win a 3A state championship. We added a couple guys who will be key guys from the jump to help us win,” said Deng.
In the meantime, he’s playing with Beyond Ball’s 17U squad, and hopes to not only continue and hone his skill-set this summer, but to add some college interest to the mix, too.
“I’ve had a couple schools here and there like USF (Sioux Falls) and Upper Iowa, but nobody has set an offer for me or really been recruiting me hard,” said Deng, who maintained that his primary focus is a state title.
“But I’m not worried, I know my time will come when coaches want to recruit me and stuff. Right now, I’m just focused on how I can get my team to Wells Fargo Area and leave with a banner and gold trophy that says 3A State Champions.”
Cham Deng is ranked by Prep Hoops as a top 150 prospect in his class. To see the full ranking of Iowa’s 2019 class, click here.