Jonathan Nicola has made waves in recent months as a high school basketball star in Ontario, Canada.
Standing at 6’9″ and 202 pounds, the 17-year-old high school junior definitely made a name for himself as a member of the Catholic Central Comets boys’ basketball team. However, the Windsor Star reports that Jonathan Nicola may not be the 17-year-old 11th grade student he has been posing as for the last six months. According to the report, it is believed that Jonathan is actually 30-years-old.
— The Windsor Star (@TheWindsorStar) April 21, 2016
Nicola was reportedly arrested earlier this week by the Canada Border Services agency “for allegedly contravening the Immigration Refugee Protection Act.” Even though the agency did not elaborate on the accusations against Nicola, he was reportedly detained under the authority of that particular act.
Stephen Fields, a spokesman for the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board, stated that “there’s really not a whole lot to say” about the situation primarily because it’s under federal investigation. However, he did comment on the system that is usually enforced in regards to international students attending their schools.
“Generally, I can tell you that we have a system of checks and balances in place that whenever international students are coming into any of our schools, we make sure that they have all of the necessary government documentation that they require in order to be in one of our schools. Again, generally speaking, if we felt at any time that there is any kind of threat to any of our students at any of our schools, then we would act appropriately.”
According to the Windsor Star, Fields chose not to discuss whether the school board planned to notify students and their parents about the overall situation involving Jonathan Nicola.
This 30-year-old man posed as a teenager, joined a Canadian high school basketball team https://t.co/OHuMplEo1x pic.twitter.com/FCR7qnMgVy
— Campus Rush (@CampusRush) April 21, 2016
— WKYC Channel 3 News (@wkyc) April 21, 2016
Pete Cusumano, the head coach of the Catholic Central Comets boys’ basketball team, allowed Jonathan Nicola to live with him. That housing arrangement was set up through Canada Homestay, a program which allows foreign students to find home. Cusumano told the Windsor Star on Wednesday that he was not allowed to talk about the controversy surrounding Jonathan Nicola — the same “young ballplayer” that he reportedly said at a shot at going to the NBA back in January.
— Larry Brown Sports (@larrybrownsport) April 21, 2016
In that feature article published by the Windsor Star, Nicola said he arrived in Windsor back in November, 2015, three days before his 17th birthday. He apparently left his “disease-ridden, war-torn home” in South Sudan for a better life in Windsor, Ontario. Nicola further explained that it took nearly six months for him to obtain a Canadian student visa.
Canada is too polite to even tell a 30 year old he can’t play high school basketball https://t.co/WT9M9LkIU1
— Gram Bowsher (@grambowsher) April 21, 2016
The Grizzlies should sign the 30 year old playing high school basketball in Windsor.
— Brett (@BLeez17) April 21, 2016
Yeah I almost got dunked on by a 30 year old in a high school basketball game……????
— Sammy G (@sam_green33) April 21, 2016
Pigs fly & 30 year old man playing for a high school basketball team.. What’s next for Windsor? Find out on the next episode of DragonBallZ!
— Morel®悟 (@Morel_Angelo) April 21, 2016
Jonathan Nicola reportedly had a detention review conducted on Tuesday in front of the Immigration and Refugee Board. The board decided to keep Nicola in custody and scheduled another hearing for next week.
[Image via Adobe Stock]