share

D.C.’s Newest High School Basketball Star Will Turn 21 This Year, According To FIBA

mikeyvthedon
mikeyvthedon's picture
Registered User
Joined: 06/13/2008
Posts: 5606
Points: 13220
Offline
D.C.’s Newest High School Basketball Star Will Turn 21 This Year, According To FIBA
D.C.'s Newest High School Basketball Star Will Turn 21 This Year, According To FIBA

D.C.’s Newest High School Basketball Star Will Turn 21 This Year, According To FIBA

Dave McKenna

Another birther movement burgeons on the shores of the Potomac. It kicked up last week, in the wake of Bishop O'Connell's 68-48 rout of DeMatha, for decades the touchstone hoops program in the nation's capital.

The win put O'Connell in ESPN's top 25 prep hoops rankings for the first time this year. It also brought a lot of attention to Knights forward Junior Etou, a 6-foot-7 forward and recent transfer, who dominated DeMatha with 19 rebounds. Etou, deemed "one to watch" by ESPN's Dave Telep in 2011, has been one of the main reasons O'Connell has bounced back after posting a 14-18 record last year, the worst in 12 years under head coach Joe Wootten.

Over the weekend, the Washington Post thought enough of Etou to make him the lead of a massive story about the superior quality of D. C. schoolboy hoops. In previous articles, the paper had identified Etou as a cousin of Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder and said that he's attracted recruiters from Clemson, Miami, Temple, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Rutgers, Southern Cal, and Xavier. Kansas has reportedly recently begun courting him, too.

Fans and coaches of rival high schools in the D.C. area have suddenly taken stock of Etou, too, but for another reason: They're grumbling among themselves and on local hoops message boards about the apparent, um, maturity of the imported talent.

O'Connell says Etou is 18 years old, but even those with leanings toward the school had their doubts.

"It was like watching Chris Webber play a bunch of high school kids," an O'Connell alum told me after watching Etou dominate DeMatha.

And maybe the grumblers are onto something. Junior Etou's full name is Luc Tselan Tsiene Etou. He is originally from the Republic of Congo. Turns out that in 2009, Luc Tselan Tsiene Etou played for the Congo Republic national team in the FIBA Africa Championship in Tripoli and Benghazi. The roster for that tournament lists Etou's hometown as Pointe Noire, the second-largest city in the Republic, and his birth date as "4 June 1992." That would make him 20 years old, not 18.

He's also on the roster for the Congo Republic team that participated in the Africa U18 Championship in May 2010, which shows Etou's birthday as "04/06/1992."

And in August 2010, Etou is listed among the participants in a Basketball Without Borders camp in Dakar, where the entry under his name shows "Date of Birth: 4/6/1992."

All those events were overseen by FIBA, basketball's international governing body. Via email from the Geneva-based group's headquarters, a FIBA spokesman says that "according to our database," the June 4, 1992, birthday for Etou is accurate. For every FIBA-sanctioned event, the spokesman says, the national federation of each participating country must provide FIBA "with all necessary eligibility information such as copy of passport(s), birth registry, etc."

If FIBA's stats are right, Etou is more than a year older than Bradley Beal, the first-round pick of the local pro team, the Washington Wizards, in the last NBA draft. A gaggle of other 2012 first-rounders—all of whom, like Beal, had already spent a year in college before being drafted—are still younger than the FIBA Etou: Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Andre Drummond, Austin Rivers, Moe Harkless, Evan Fournier, Tony Wroten Jr., and Marquis Teague.

That would also make Etou too old to play ball at O'Connell: The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference bars anybody who turns 19 years old before Sept. 1 of their senior year. If Etou was indeed born on June 4, 1992, it would mean he is five, even six years older than some of the players sharing a court with him. DeMatha point guard Alani Moore, for instance, just turned 15.

O'Connell's basketball coach/athletic director Joe Wootten, son of legendary former DeMatha coach Morgan Wootten, did not respond to phone messages or emails for this story.

But Katy Prebble, president of O'Connell (an administrative position, not a student body office), says that Etou's good to go, as far as the administration is concerned.

"The school has the documentation, including his passport, verifying the age of Junior Etou to be 18," Prebble says.

Prebble added that Etou's "documents have been found to be in order" by the WCAC. Asked if he was satisfied with the information on Etou that O'Connell had turned into the league, WCAC commissioner Jim Leary says, "At this point I have no comment."

There is at least one spot that lists Etou to be a younger man than FIBA purports. Luc Tselan Tsiene Etou has a Wikipedia page that lists his birthdate as June 4, 1994.

That page was created in 2009, not long after after Etou's appearance with the Congo Republic team at the continental championships in Libya. And at its creation, the Wiki page listed the June 4, 1992, birthday. The edit history, however, shows that on Jan. 24, 2011, an unregistered user going by "Ethoka" changed Etou's birthday to "June 4, 1994." Two days later, an anonymous Wikian, editing his or her own edit, recategorized Etou from a "1992 birth" to a "1994 birth," where Etou has remained ever since.

At the time the Wiki change was made, Etou was playing for Arlington Country Day, a high school in Jacksonville, Fla.

The IP address for the computer used to make the latter edit (66.177.152.17) traces back to Jacksonville.

The only footnote link on the page takes you to a website for the 2009 African tournament that says he was born in 1992.

Etou himself appears to have claimed the older age before. In December 2007, a poster going by "tselan-tsiene" registered with alvoltaire.com, a message board based in France and dedicated to basketball junkies. "Slt je m'appelle junior je recherche un club de basket jais 1m97,jais 15ans,je pése 75kg. je veu intégrer un club en france jais du tallon," he wrote.

Translation: "Hello my name is Junior. I'm 6-feet-5, 15 years old, 165 pounds, and I'm looking for a basketball club to play for."

A board lurker asked tselan-tsiene/Junior where he's from. "je vien du congo précisement de pointe-noire," he responds. Translation: "I come from Congo, from Pointe-Noire."

The age and hometown claimed by Junior in 2007, in other words, correspond with the records FIBA posted for Luc Tselan Tsiene Etou beginning with his playing in the African championships two years later.

On that French message board post, Junior requested that any clubs wanting his service contact him at the email address [email protected].

Today, you can find Etou on Facebook under the name Luc Junior Tselan Tsiene. His handle there is "bayanho94."

Etou told the Washington Post he came to D.C. for his senior season because players "play harder and have more skills here." But it ain't like they're slouches at the Florida school Etou left behind. Arlington Country Day, where Etou played for two seasons, is ranked 19th in the nation by the Blue Star Poll, and according to the school has 13 male alums currently playing NCAA Division 1 ball, including last week's ESPN national player of the week, Rodney McGruder from Kansas State. Coach and athletic director Rex Morgan says eight of the kids on this year's team will play D1 when they leave.

Morgan says he "doesn't remember the exact date" for Etou's birthday, but says he knows that the date on his I-20 student visa and his passport showed that he was of eligible age when he enrolled at Country Day in 2010. The rule in Florida is that players can play only until they are 19 years and nine months old, Morgan says, meaning even at his FIBA age Etou would have been eligible to play at Country Day last year. But he'd have been too old to play this season.

While it's not kosher to play high school ball as a twentysomething, there are positives to being a vicenarian preppie. If Etou's really as old as FIBA says he is, he'll likely be the only guy in his O'Connell class who can drink legally during beach week.

Dave McKenna is a writer in Washington D.C.

http://deadspin.com/5976955/dcs-newest-high-school-basketball-star-will-turn-21-this-year-according-to-fiba

Well, not the first time this has happened. Guerdwich Montimere aka Jerry Joseph is a slightly more strange story, though he actually graduated from high school in the states only to make a fake identity. The thing with this one is, it is pretty hard to hide from FIBA once you have played at one of their camps or in an International competition. Seems like Etou is caught redhanded on this one. Almost created a profile for him, too, lol.

I know the Ducks have signed a player named Cristiano Felicio who is born one month after Etou in 1992. Thing is, he was playing at a prep school post grad program as everyone knew his actual age. I guess also was in much more noticeable events in the U19 World Championships, as well as playing for Brazil's senior team in the South American Championships this past summer. Really hoping he suits up for the Ducks, 6-9/245, do not know about his NBA prospects, just know he is big and athletic.

Meanwhile, Etou is a 6-7/210 PF staring down 21. Lists him as having offers from Kansas State, Maryland and West Virginia, wonder if they will still stand? Do not get me wrong, having a guy come in as a 21 year old freshman is not all bad from a colleges perspective, lol. By the time he leaves, he will have hit his athletic peak and it does not hurt having that age, experience. Just wondering if this maybe will cause some action as far as actual NCAA eligibility or academic credentials.

One other thing I wanted to point out was something I found out a month ago when trying to find news about Luis Montero:

http://www.nbadraft.net/forum/2015-prospect-luis-montero

Montero is currently listed as a 2015 prospect, but his listed birth at the 2011 Americas Basketball without Borders camp is April 6, 1993 (they list it day/month instead of month/day, not that it matters much in this instance, lol). So, a player who was once thought to be a top prospect in that class at early observation may have to be re-evaluated.

Age is not everything, but when trying to predict development in this day and age of draft early entry making it a necessity, it is helpful to know just how old someone is. Recently, Okben Ulubay and his twin brother Oktay were accused of age falsifying when the Turkish Federation was given documents stating their being born in 1996 when they had claimed they were born in 1997. Okben was named MVP of the European U16 Championships, a feat that seemed much more impressive when he was thought to be a year younger. Now, apparently no official decision has come down, just know that Okben used to be rated as the #1 player in 1997 by Eurohopes and is now unrated in 1996.

Questions about age have arose surrounding certain NBA players as well (Yi Jianlian, Ersan Ilyasova, BISMACK BIYOMBO, Yinka Dare, Dikembe Mutombo, and the ever so funny ones about Greg Oden. Their, ends that joke before it starts). Not always a big deal, though in a few cases, had their actual age been verified, they might have been evaluated differently (Looking at Yi and Bismack here. I know Bismack is a really nice guy, just think he is older than listed).

Wanted to drop this story and see what people think in terms of age discrepancies. Take a chance or stay away? Case by case basis? Think it is definitely open for interpretation in most cases, though this latest one with Junior Etou is just a tad strange and seems like a guy just trying to raise his profile by dropping his age.


Lebron's Hairline
Lebron's Hairline's picture
Registered User
Joined: 06/07/2012
Posts: 2158
Points: 5969
Offline
I think they should take a

I think they should take a chance, didnt Serges age questions scare teams away also? Look how he turned out. 21 for a high school player is old though

BasketballJunkie224
BasketballJunkie224's picture
Registered User
Joined: 10/14/2012
Posts: 692
Points: 10
Offline
what is the difference

what is the difference between 21 and 20 year olds at prep school?! as much as i dont agree with it, i never understood why every1 makes a big deal about the age thing.

esperanzafleet69
esperanzafleet69's picture
Registered User
Joined: 06/19/2009
Posts: 1675
Points: 991
Offline
because its a 20 year old

because its a 20 year old playing a 14 year old...

ItsVictorOladipo
ItsVictorOladipo's picture
Registered User
Joined: 08/12/2009
Posts: 2020
Points: 4662
Offline
what is the difference

what is the difference between 21 and 20 year olds at prep school?! as much as i dont agree with it, i never understood why every1 makes a big deal about the age thing.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I Played my senior year of college at the age of 21. I can't even imagine what a joke it would be to play highschool kids at that kind of age with a physically mature body.

FastAndFurious
FastAndFurious's picture
Registered User
Joined: 08/05/2009
Posts: 3585
Points: 9051
Offline
I don't think people realize

I don't think people realize the age difference, he's 21, yes there are 18,19 year olds who are playing against him, but this is HS there are still Freshman,Sophomore and Juniors playing their ages usually range from 14-16.

I dont care how good and talented you are at 14,15,16, a 21 year old man who is just as good as you skill wise, will destroy you because the physical part of the game will be too much for the younger kid.

BasketballJunkie224
BasketballJunkie224's picture
Registered User
Joined: 10/14/2012
Posts: 692
Points: 10
Offline
ok i understand that and i

ok i understand that and i totally agree. but everyone acts so suprised about things like this. theres probably 100 20 year olds playing hs basketball. its been like this for YEARS lol

GoJOSH HUESTIS
GoJOSH HUESTIS's picture
Registered User
Joined: 06/13/2008
Posts: 838
Points: 434
Offline
Mitch McGary was 20 years old

Mitch McGary was 20 years old playing highschool basketball last year, prep

mikeyvthedon
mikeyvthedon's picture
Registered User
Joined: 06/13/2008
Posts: 5606
Points: 13220
Offline
Mitch was actually 19 when he was still playing

He was born June 6, 1992, meaning he turned 20 after the season was over. Plus, Mitch was at a post graduate academy, where they have different guidelines on age limit. In Junior's case, he is 20 right now. The thing is, everyone knew Mitch's age, it was not like he was hiding it and under the guidelines that Brewster Academy played in, he was eligible. It would be one thing if Junior Etou was in a post grad program, it just seems like he is trying to pose as a younger person in general.

As Deadspin reports, his eligilibility would indeed be in question:

According to Bishop O'Connell, Etou is 18 years old; according to FIBA's database, Etou is 20, with a birthdate of June 4, 1992. That would make Etou too old to play in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, which bars anybody who turns 19 years old before Sept. 1 of his senior year.

The8thDeadlySin
The8thDeadlySin's picture
Registered User
Joined: 07/02/2008
Posts: 4404
Points: 5884
Offline
I dont care how old he is.. I

I dont care how old he is.. I hope this guy comes to WVU.. We need a nice, athletic bigman... Also, i didnt read this article but the one I did read said that nothing was comfirmed.. His age was different on two or three different forms they found.. And the offical form and his passport said he was 18.. Regardless, the Mountain State needs this kid/man! LoL

mikeyvthedon
mikeyvthedon's picture
Registered User
Joined: 06/13/2008
Posts: 5606
Points: 13220
Offline
FIBA not ready to change the DOB just yet......

Junior Etou Age Controversy Continues


Two weeks ago, an article on Deadspin.com presented evidence that O'Connell (Arlington, Va.) basketball star Junior Etou was 20, not 18, as the school claimed. Deadspin specifically cited International Basketball Federation (FIBA) records, which indicate Etou, a Republic of Congo native who has played in FIBA events, was born in 1992.

Knights coach Joe Wootten rebutted the report in separate interviews with The Washington Post and MaxPreps.com, and told both outlets that O'Connell had legal documentation proving that Etou was, in fact, 18. The Post also reported that Etou's father told Wootten he planned to contact FIBA about changing his son's records to reflect his correct birthdate.

On Sunday, Wootten told the Arlington Connection that the controversy over Etou's age was a "dead issue."

FIBA disagrees, as Deadspin reports today. A statement released yesterday by FIBA spokesman Simon Wilkinson reads, in part:

Please be informed that we have not (yet) heard from the player's family regarding any corrections to be made to our database. It is our understanding that the player, his family and the school maintain that the player is in possession of a passport with a date of birth in the year 1994. While FIBA has never been provided with such copy, we do not challenge the fact that a passport indicating 1994 as the year of birth may indeed have been issued.

We do however confirm being in possession of an official copy of the player's birth certificate issued by the civil authorities of the Republic of Congo indicating the following date of birth: 4 June 1992.

http://www.usatodayhss.com/news/article/junior-etou-age-controversy-continues

RSS: Syndicate content