Rob Dauster

30-year old man poses as teen, stars as high school basketball player


A star high school player in Canada has been arrested on accusations that he is actually a 30-year old man.

Jonathan Nicola, a refugee from South Sudan, was arrested at the Canadian border last week. He is currently being held on charges of “contravening the Immigration Refugee Protection Act,” according to a report from the Windsor-Star.

“There’s really not a whole lot to say,” a spokesman for the school district told the Windsor-Star. “Because of the fact this is a matter that’s still outstanding before the federal authorities, obviously we can’t really comment on it. Beyond that there’s not a whole lot to say.”

When Nicola first arrived in the country, he told officials that he had just turned 17 years old. He was in Canada on a student-visa, attending Catholic Central High School as a 11th-grader. The 6-foot-9 Nicola was even leaving with his high school team’s head coach.

This is not the first time this has happened recently. Back in 2011, a basketball player in Texas who went by the name Jerry Joseph and was posing as an orphan from Haiti was discovered to be Guerdwich Montimere, a 22-year old from Florida. He was discovered at an AAU tournament by his former coaches, and eventually spent two years in prison in part because he had a sexual relationship with a girl who was 15 years old at the time. In 2013 in Tennessee, a 22-year old man posed as an 18-year old high school transfer and eventually played one season of basketball.

JaKeenan Gant becomes the last in a long line of Missouri transfers

Missouri forward Jakeenan Gant (23) reacts after being called for a foul during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Missouri on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, in Athens, Ga. (AJ Reynolds/Athens Banner-Herald via AP) MAGS OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT
(AJ Reynolds/Athens Banner-Herald via AP)
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Jakeenan Gant’s career at Missouri has come to an end, as the school confirmed on Thursday that the former top 100 recruit will be transferring out of the program.

“I’ll miss Columbia, but feel the need to make a move with my family and mother in mind,” Gant said in a release. According to the statement, his mom is sick and he wants to move to a school closer to her. “I want nothing but the best for Mizzou in the future and appreciate the friendships I’ve made in my time here.”

Gant, a 6-foot-9 sophomore that averaged 5.1 points this past season, has had a tumultuous career in Columbia. Just in the last three months, he’s had surgery on his shoulder and been arrested in one of the weirder instances of an athlete running afoul of the law; his roommate was wanted in connection with a couple of robberies, and when police searched the house, they found “marijuana smoking devices”.

This is not unusual for this Missouri team. They signed 12 players in their 2013 and 2014 recruiting classes, and none of them will be on the roster for the 2016-17 season. Of those 12, 11 of them either decided to transfer out of the program or were booted from the team. The only one that left in good standing? Keanau Post, a JuCo big man that graduated in 2015.

Kentucky’s Marcus Lee: ‘My plan is to go to the NBA’

Kentucky forward Marcus Lee dunks during the first half of a second-round men's college basketball game against Indiana in the NCAA Tournament, Saturday, March 19, 2016, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Marcus Lee has officially declared for the draft, and while he has yet to sign with an agent, all signs point toward the 6-foot-9 Kentucky center leaving school.

“My plan is to go to the NBA. That’s the only goal,” Lee told

John Calipari announced earlier this spring that every member of his team — from Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray to the walk-ons — had declared for the draft to take advantage of the new rule, and that is part of the reason that Lee is going public with this now. He doesn’t want NBA GMs to think his decision to enter his name in the draft is part of a publicity stunt by his college coach.

“I want people to know I am serious about this,” Lee said to “I’ve talked to Coach Cal about this, and he definitely understands that I’m going to the NBA this year.”

He’s in a difficult spot. Lee was a top 30 recruit coming out of high school, but he spent his first two seasons at Kentucky playing behind Julius Randle, Karl Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein and the rest of the massive Wildcat front lines in recent seasons. He got a chance to play major minutes this season, but he was relatively ineffective, averaging just 6.4 points, 6.0 boards and 1.6 blocks.

In other words, he looks the part of a four-year guy at UK.

Lee is a likely second round pick.

Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes to declare for the draft

Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes (10) drives on Ohio State's Jae'Sean Tate (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, in Madison, Wis. Hayes had a team-high 21 points in Wisconsin's 79-68 win. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
(AP Photo/Andy Manis)
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Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes will declare for the NBA Draft without signing with an agent. He will be eligible to return to school for his senior season should he remove his name from consideration by May 25th.

Hayes, a 6-foot-8 forward, averaged 15.7 points, 5.9 boards and 3.0 assists for the Badgers as a junior, seeing his production increase dramatically in a year where he was asked to fill the void left by Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker.

Hayes’ decision was first reported by The Vertical.

The knock on Hayes, however, was that the increased production came at the expense of his efficiency. He shot just 36 percent from the floor and 29 percent from three this season. In other Hayes, there is some reason to think that Hayes as potential as a pro, but he also has some things that he needs to work on to get there.

Which is why the new rule allowing players to declare and withdraw from the draft is perfect for him. He can get the feedback he needs and the information on the things that he has to improve and, if he doesn’t like where he’s likely to end up after this season, he can return to school, spend the summer trying to improve his flaws and try and play his way into next year’s draft.

Former Syracuse star Pearl Washington dead at age 52

FILE - In this March 10, 1984, file photo, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, right, and Syracuse player Dwayne Washington (31) watch as Georgetown University took control in overtime of the Big East Conference championship basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, current and former players, and others associated with the program continue to rally in support of former Orange star Dwayne Pearl Washington, who’s afflicted with brain cancer.  (AP Photo/Ray Stubblebine, File)
(AP Photo/Ray Stubblebine, File)

Dwayne ‘Pearl’ Washington is dead at 52, Syracuse University announced on Wednesday morning.

He had spent the last year battling a brain tumor, undergoing surgery last fall, but he was unable to defeat the illness.

Washington was a playground legend in his hometown of New York City, becoming one of the Big East’s first “Point Gods“. A 6-foot-3 human highlight reel, Washington’s flair for the spectacular made him one of the best, and most entertaining, players in the country. The Big East was four years old when he first enrolled at Syracuse, and he played a starring role for the teams that made the Orange relevant in the conference for the first time.

Pearl’s most famous shot came in January of 1984, when he hit a half-court buzzer-beater to win a game against Boston College and proceeded to run directly down the tunnel and into the locker room:

Throughout the season, Syracuse players wore warmup shirts emblazoned with ‘Pearl’ on the front and his No. 31 on the back.

“There was no better guy,” head coach Jim Boeheim said after a game against Georgia Tech this season, “and there’s nobody who has meant more to our basketball program than Dwayne Washington.”

Attorney: NCAA also deserves blame in UNC fraud scandal

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) An attorney representing two ex-North Carolina athletes says the school and NCAA are both responsible for UNC’s long-running academic fraud scandal that he says denied athletes a quality education.

Michael Hausfeld said Tuesday in a hearing in federal court that athletes who took even one of the irregular courses had been defrauded. Hausfeld is one of the attorneys representing ex-women’s basketball player Rashanda McCants and ex-football player Devon Ramsay, who filed a lawsuit alleging neither defendant did enough to ensure athletes received a quality education.

“The essence of this lawsuit is not about easy classes or friendly professors,” Hausfeld said. “It’s about academic fraud as opposed to academic integrity.”

The school and NCAA are seeking to have the case dismissed, while UNC is also seeking the dismissal of a related lawsuit filed by two other ex-athletes: football player Michael McAdoo and women’s basketball player Kenya McBee. District Court Judge Loretta C. Biggs heard arguments in both cases that seek class-action status during an all-day court session Tuesday, asked questions of the attorneys but didn’t immediately issue a ruling.

UNC’s academic case centers on independent study-style courses that required no class time and one or two research papers in the formerly named African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM) department. Run largely by an office administrator – not a faculty member – the courses featured GPA-boosting grades and significant athlete enrollments across numerous sports, while poor oversight throughout the university allowed them to run unchecked for years.

Both lawsuits – as well as a third by two other ex-UNC athletes and dismissed in state court in February – were filed after a 2014 probe by former U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein. That report estimated more than 3,100 students were affected between 1993 and 2011, with athletes making up roughly half the enrollments in problem courses.

In Tuesday’s arguments, attorneys for UNC and the NCAA argued that the lawsuits should be dismissed because a three-year statute of limitations had passed, while UNC also claimed sovereign immunity as a state institution. The athletes’ attorneys have made similar arguments that their clients were steered into the courses by academic counselors to minimize conflicts with sports practice schedules – sometimes handed a predetermined class schedule despite it conflicting with their desired major pursuits – and no indication that the courses were deficient by lacking faculty involvement.

While Hausfeld argued the NCAA had a duty to ensure the quality of education for “vulnerable adolescents” at member institutions, NCAA attorney Stephen D. Brody argued the organization doesn’t venture into the classroom to monitor the quality or rigor of courses.

“That is not a space that is occupied by the NCAA,” Brody told Biggs.

McCants and Ramsay combined to take three problem AFAM courses while majoring in other departments, according to their lawsuit. In Tuesday’s first hearing, attorneys for McAdoo and McBee said their clients had taken one or two of the irregular courses during each semester in school. McBee graduated with a double major, one coming in the AFAM department, while McAdoo withdrew from school to pursue a professional playing career after being ruled permanently ineligible for academic violations in 2010.

Geraldine Sumter, an attorney for McAdoo and McBee, compared the problem courses to “an empty shell.”

“This is not a case of educational malpractice,” she said. “This is a case of failing to educate.”

The academic case has led the NCAA to charge UNC with five violations – including a lack of institutional control – in a still-pending investigation. It also led to trouble for UNC with its accreditation agency, which put the school on a year of probation last June.