It turns out that the star of the 2015-2016 Central Catholic High School (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) basketball team was not your typical high school kid – not by a longshot. Although he was masquerading as a 17-year-old student, the 6-foot-9 center of the Central Catholic Comets this past season is, in fact, a 30-year-old native of South Sudan, Jonathan Nicola, who had been living with basketball coach Pete Cusumano while in Canada on a student visa.
As a result of the enormous age discrepancy, it is expected that the visa will be terminated. Nicola is presently in custody at a detention center in Windsor while authorities continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding his unique situation and the hearings process associated with his immigration status continues to play out. According to reports, it is the Canada Border Services Agency that ultimately uncovered evidence of Nicola’s true age.
Privacy concerns have prevented any specific details about the case…including what, specifically, tipped anyone off as to the ruse being perpetrated by Nicola…from being disclosed at this point, but a Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board spokesman, Stephen Fields, is adamant that no “real” students were ever in any danger from the presence of Nicola in their midst. In speaking with the Windsor Star about the situation, Fields said, in part, “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.”
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large