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This Man Allegedly Pretended To Be A Teen To Attend High School In Ontario

Jonathon Nicola told people he was a 16-year-old from South Sudan.

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Canadian border agents arrested this Grade 11 student in Windsor, Ontario, because they say he's actually a 29-year-old man who pretended to be a teenager for the last six months.

Jonathon Nicola joined the school this fall as a 16-year-old on a student visa. Apparently nobody questioned it too deeply, and the 6-foot-9-inch man who said he was from South Sudan quickly became the star player on the Catholic Central High School basketball team. He was even touted as a future NBA player.

The Canadian Border Services Agency told BuzzFeed Canada that Nicola previously applied for entry into the U.S with a date of birth that put him closer to 30. The CBSA got wise to it when a fingerprint match revealed the two different birthdays.

Everyone seemed pretty excited to have Nicola on the court. He was featured in a "prospect video" earlier this year because of his impressive skills, and he was even living with the team's head coach, according to the Windsor Star.

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Student journalists at St. Clair College who covered the basketball phenom expressed shock at the news, saying there was no indication Nicola was a grown man hanging out in high school.

In no way was it possible for anyone to know The sources I spoke to were being misled during the interviews for my Jonathan Nicole story

At no point was there any indication of an age change for Jonathon, when conducting my story and doing interviews sources were legitimate.

Michael Hugall told BuzzFeed Canada he was invited to report on Nicola by the team's coach.

"No one had a clue as to his actual age," he said.

"Looking back on it, we should have been suspicious, but our sources were credible."

Hugall said he and his colleague Ryan Blevins are working on a follow-up story.

Others were a little less surprised at the news.

Well, this was clearly obvious! https://t.co/9I82PIzHxR

Said he was 17, but he's actually 30.... and that hairline is easily 47 https://t.co/XwKb7knPdj

African man, 30, arrested after posing as teen at Windsor high school for 6 months https://t.co/dCPQvANaru

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The jokes started flowing.

@TheWindsorStar just copped the latest edition of 2k 💯

And it didn't take long for Crying Jordan to make an appearance.

when they found out he was 30 instead of 16

But the best reaction, by far, came from this teen who said he had to play against Nicola.

@TheWindsorStar so you're telling me this whole time I was playing hard defense on a man that could basically be my dad.. man wtf

@PIoading what makes me more mad is that this man dunked on me when we scrimmaged cch. Is that considered child abuse?

Nicola had an immigration review and is still being detained. His next hearing is scheduled for April 26.

Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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