Postgame Interview: Q&A with Penn basketball captain Dau Jok

After the Marist game, we spoke with Jok about playing with problems for his family in Sudan

· December 26, 2013, 4:42 pm

DP File Photos | DP

With problems back home in Sudan, senior captain Dau Jok is playing with a heavy heart but he sees basketball as a refuge when he is on the court.


After Sunday’s lost to Marist, we spoke with Penn basketball senior captain Dau Jok about what it is like playing on the court with a potential for war in Sudan and his mother in the middle of it.

The Daily Pennsylvanian: Could you tell us a little bit about how this last week has been for you?

Dau Jok: It’s been a little difficult. My mom was supposed to be back on Friday, but she won’t be back for a while. She has to stay there and handle some things herself because she is a member of Parliament. So it’s been tough. I’ve been following the situation closely, and it looks like it may end up being a civil war. So it’s tough for somebody to … I lost my dad. And I don’t think my dad lost his life for another civil war. He lost his life for independence. So it’s tough, and I’m not there, so I can’t do anything about it. And that’s probably the most difficult thing.

DP: How important has the team been in supporting you in this?

DJ: They’ve been supportive. I mean, basketball is a refuge for me. And whenever I’m at practice, that’s a time for me to escape from my own personal life, and be able to just interact with the guys and stuff, and just play ball. So, it’s been good.

DP: How have your experiences in Sudan shaped you as a person and as a basketball player?

DJ: I mean, I am what I am because of that … Losing my dad and such, and living in a civil war during the heart of it. But I guess the biggest thing that it has taught me is never to take anything for granted. So, in a basketball sense, whether I get ten seconds on the court or 30 minutes, whatever I have, I’m gonna just play as hard as I can, and that’s all I can do. And just work my butt off all day.

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