You may have seen this story earlier about Canadian high school basketball phenom Jonathan Nicola who played for Catholic Central Secondary School in Windsor. At 6’9″ and a powerful build, Nicola dominated other teams, despite this being his first year playing in North America. He was so good, in fact, that his coach/sponsor thought he might go pro! But, as it turns out, the advantage was more one of age than raw talent as it turns out he was actually 30-years-old, not 17 as he had claimed on visa papers.
Now that he’s been caught–and possibly faces criminal charges for the deception–Nicola is claiming that the real problem is that he doesn’t know how old he is and that the fault lies with his mother who “never told him how old he was.” He got even more confused growing up as he moved around a lot and went to different schools. At a hearing Nicola told officials that he was helped with his visa application by a “Coach Steyn” who kept pestering him to ask his mother his year of birth and it kept changing from 1986 to 1990 to 1993 and finally 1998. Unfortunately, no one can locate this Coach Steyn.
Nicola was eventually caught when his team tried to cross the border into the US to play an American team and guards there noticed his fingerprints matched that of someone who tried to enter the US as a refuge but had listed his birthday as Nov. 1, 1986, not Nov. 25, 1998. Oops!
Yeah, we’re not buying it Jonathan, but nice try. You’ll get a lovely parting gift from the Canadian government and a trip back home.
Source: The Star