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Canadian Authorities: 30-Year-Old Illegal Immigrant Was Posing as 17-Year-Old High School Student


His coach said he had “a shot at going to the NBA.”

Image source: Twitter, @Cdn_Ballers

Canada Border Services Agency officers said Wednesday that they arrested a man in the country illegally who was pretending to be a high school student, according to the Windsor Star.

Jonathon Nicola, 30, allegedly posed as a 17-year-old high school student in order to obtain a student visa.

According to the Windsor Star, at 6 feet 9 inches and 202 pounds with size 16 shoes, Nicola quickly became the star of Catholic Central High School’s basketball team.

Nicola was even living with the team’s head coach, Pete Cusumano, through a program that matches foreign students with host families. Cusumano told the Star in January that Nicola was such a talented athlete that he had “a shot at going to the NBA.”

Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board spokesman Stephen Fields told the Star that there's not much to add.

“Because of the fact this is a matter that’s still outstanding before the federal authorities, obviously we can’t really comment on it,” Fields said. “Beyond that, there’s not a whole lot to say.”

“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,” Fields added.

Fields stressed that “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.”

In January, Nicola told the Star that he left his home in South Sudan days before his 17th birthday in search of a better life.

“A few of my friends know of my background, how we live over there,” he said. “I don’t know how many of them have a clue of how it is in Africa.”

Nicola told the publication that it took him “six months to acquire a Canadian student visa.”

“With the war going on, terrorism and all this, they make it real double hard,” Nicola said.

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