USATodayHSS.com reports that Jonathan Nicola, a native of South Sudan, spent the last six months attending Catholic Central High School while posing as a teenager. At 6-foot-9 and 202 pounds Nicola was a very well known fixture at the school who spent previous months during the academic year living with Central Catholic basketball coach Pete Cusumano as part of the Canada Homestay program while he lived in the country on a student visa.
With Nicola’s arrest, his visa will likely be terminated in light of Canada Border Services Agency obtaining evidence that seems to show that Nicola is actually 30 years old, not 17 years old as he presented himself.
USA Today notes the age difference makes Nicola a full 12 years older than the oldest competitors he’s played against in the 2015-16 season.
“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,” Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board spokesman Stephen Fields told USA Today.
Despite how it looks to have a 30-year-old man masquerading as a student, Fields insists that the students were never at risk.
“Again, 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,” said Fields.
In light of privacy concerns, Canadian officials have not provided specific details about the case.
As for Nicola, he had gone before the Immigration and Refugee Board on Tuesday during a detention review. Turns out the board decided to that Nicola should remain in custody.
According to the Windsor Star, another hearing for Nicola is scheduled for next week. To see footage of Nicola, check out the video below: