Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng (LOO'-ul dehng) arrived to a hero's welcome at a polling place in Chicago where southern Sudanese are voting on their country's future.

Deng drew cheers from fellow Sudanese on Sunday when he briefly draped himself with the Southern Sudan flag.

The basketball player has been encouraging people to vote for the referendum on Southern Sudan independence and says a lot of people have fought for this day when Southern Sudanese would have a say in their future.

Deng is a native of Sudan who moved to London as a child to escape the conflict in his homeland. He is among hundreds of Sudanese voting in eight U.S. cities on the referendum.