Berkshire has a sizable hole to replace in its defense this fall, with Bermudan center back and All-American Ahria Simons beginning his college career at Dartmouth.
Head coach Charlie Bour has a solution on hand – at least partially – with incoming post-graduate student Deng Deng Kur recently announcing his verbal commitment to Northwestern. Originally from Sudan and with roots in London, the center back has lived extensively in the Greater Chicago area. It turns out that Kur also has a famous cousin: Los Angeles Lakers small forward Luol Deng.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for me to get an elite education at a very prestigious school,” Kur said of his commitment. “I loved the facilities, the small, intimate-school vibe in a big city like Chicago. I’m also very excited coming to Berkshire. I can’t wait to compete in this great conference; I’ve heard a lot of great things about it. Not only the soccer program, but also the opportunity to grow in my education.”
Kur becomes the Bears’ third class of 2019 member to commit to a Division 1 program, joining Virginia-bound forward Nick Berghold. Canadian forward Jacob Shaffelburg has also pledged his college soccer to the Cavaliers, but he might turn pro early, with suitors in Germany and MLS.
Berkshire, which lost the Class A title game in 2017 to Loomis Chaffee, is also bringing in another Grade-A defender in Arlington, Mass., native Max McKersie. He’ll be a post-graduate student, and likely pair with Kur ahead of incoming post-graduate goalkeeper Kevin Kelly.
“Deng is an athletic and versatile player,” Bour said. “His background and big frame will allow him to add value both in the back and up front if and when necessary. His character and leadership will also be even more important assets to the Berkshire soccer program this year.”
Other standout returners for Berkshire include center mid Jonathan Sinclair, defender Ugochukwu Achara and midfielder David McCrory, all seniors. The former two are bonafide D1 prospects.