The story of the Canadian high school basketball star who turned out to be 29 took another weird twist when Jonathan Nicola told Canadian immigration officials he couldn’t have lied about his age, because he didn’t know how old he really was.
Nicola has been held by Canadian immigration officials since April 15. He said at a detention hearing in Windsor he didn’t know his age because his mother kept telling him different ages.
“I always keep asking what is the specific age that I was born, and she has told me that she could not remember,” he told the April 19 hearing, according to the Toronto Star.
“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 said.
Nicola told officials that he wants to stay in Canada in order to get an education to help his family back in South Sudan.
“I am not a liar person. 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,” Nicola said.
“I did not came (sic) 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.”
Nicola was enrolled in the 11th grade class at Windsor High School where he starred on the basketball team. The issue was discovered when an application for travel to the United States was compared with his Canadian papers, where a discrepency between birthdates was noticeable.