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There certainly becomes a point in life where we just stop counting birthdays and literally end up forgetting how old we are. But usually, it’s late in life … like post 70. But for one basketball player, his age became a huge controversy after everyone found out he was 29 years old.

High school student and star athlete, Jonathan Nicola was arrested this week in Windsor, Ontario for lying about his age. But apparently, it was just an honest mistake.

The South Sudanese student played ball at Catholic Central secondary school and was detained earlier this month for allegedly using false information on a passport and a student visa application.


During this weeks hearing, it was discovered that Nicola’s mother was dishonest about her 6ft 9in and 202lbs son’s age. “I aways keep asking what is the specific age that I was born, and she has told me that she could not remember,” Nicola said just days after being arrested. “Over [in South Sudan], not every year we study. We always keep moving to different schools, and over there, they do not ask your age. They do not ask you nothing.”

Nicola explained, “I am not a liar …. I am religious. I pray to God. If something bad happen to me here, I do not know what would happen to my mother back home because she is really sick. She has diabetes. I did not come here to harm any people or do something bad. All my goal is to study and get the education, so I can go back home, I can help my mother, I can help all my rest of the family.”

According to the Canadian border services agency, authorities were alerted about the student’s age “when he recently applied for a US visitor visa, it was determined by fingerprint match that he was the same individual who had made a previous application to the US using a DoB of 1 November 1986.”

Nicola will remain in custody until his next detention hearing on 24 May.

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