Skip to main content

The 30-year old high school player that almost got away with it

Jonathan Nicola

In the fall of 2016, a guy by the name of Jonathan Nikola was playing as a 17-year old junior at the Catholic Central High School in Canada. At 6'9'' and 225 lbs, Jonathan was looking like a grown man. Well, that is probably because that is precisely what he was—being regarded as one of the top high school prospects in Canada brought attention to Nikola and eventually got him busted, with the truth coming out. Jonathan was a 30-year old man posing as a 17-year high school player. So how did this even happen?

Jonathan originally came out of South Sudan because he fled the country due to the war that was happening there. While he was playing at his school, Jonathan was living with his head coach because of the program in their school that allowed housing of international students. He blended in perfectly and managed to get unnoticed for about five months.

But all the talk from coaches and scouts that viewed him as an NBA prospect ruined his decoy. I mean, a 30-year old grown man with any basketball skills was bound to dominate high school players based on the sheer physical advantages. Jonathan was acting, dressing, and socializing like a teenager, but in the end, his appearance and domination gave him away. Being listed amongst the 15 best recruits in the country was no small accomplishment but something that definitely brought too much focus on Jonathan.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Once the authorities discovered he wasn't actually 17, they detained Nikola and accused him of breaching the immigration refugee protection act. Jonathan defended himself, saying he himself didn't know how old he was. What a stereotypical and hilarious response. But come on, man, when you look at his face and stature, you can't help but wonder how in the hell did he manage to trick all those people for five months. Kudos for the hustle, but Jonathan took it a bit too far. A crazy story you have to see to believe it.

Portland TrailBlazers' legends: Clyde Drexler and Damian Billard

“From that moment, I knew it was possible”- Damian Lillard on passing Clyde Drexler’s Trail Blazers scoring record

Damian Lillard is set to break Clyde Drexler's Portland Trail Blazer scoring record next season.

serge-ibaka-derek-fisher-min

Serge Ibaka shares an important lesson he learned from Derek Fisher

Ibaka is the type of player who never settles with what is in front of him. He constantly absorbs everything he feels will be beneficial for him. In the process, he became humbler and wiser

New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing

"I got aroused" — When Patrick Ewing testified in a strip club trial

Patrick Ewing admitted visiting the Atlanta strip club 10 times. His first time was in 1996 when he was in town for the Olympic Games

New York Knicks forward Latrell Sprewell

"One of the misconceptions about me is that I have this attitude problem" - Latrell Sprewell opens up about his off-court personality

Latrell Sprewell stressed that his fearless attitude on the court was far from who he was off of it.

LeBron-James-Jerry-West

Jerry West on how the Memphis Grizzlies almost picked LeBron James

Before Jerry West became general manager, the Memphis Grizzlies made a trade that hurt their chances in the 2003 NBA Draft.

Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin is not the solution to the Boston Celtics' woes

Blake Griffin is already past his prime and there's little he could do to impact the Boston Celtics' title aspirations next season.

Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden

James Harden explains why he considers himself  "one of the most unselfish players ever"

James Harden talks about the upcoming NBA season for the Philadelphia 76ers, while also opening up about his mindset and the time he spent playing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving for the Brooklyn Nets

New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul

"I'm a point guard and I'm that good" - Chris Paul's simple reply to a Hornets teammate who was baffled by his skills

Former New Orleans Hornets forward Jason Smith got an epic response from Chris Paul when he asked him how could he read the game while on the floor.