Bishop O'Connell (Arlington, Va.) fell out of the Super 25 Rankings this week after suffering consecutive losses to Lower Merion (Ardmore, Pa.) and Cathedral Prep (Erie, Pa.), but the Knights might have bigger problems to worry about.
Amid some grumbling on local high school hoops message boards about the actual age of O'Connell star Junior Etou, a senior transfer from Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.), Washington, D.C.-based reporter Dave McKenna did some digging and found evidence that suggests Etou is 20, not 18, as O'Connell claims.
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"Junior Etou's full name is Luc Tselan Tsiene Etou," McKenna wrote on Deadspin.com. "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."
If Etou is 20, he's ineligible to play at O'Connell. The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference prohibits students who turn 19 years old before Sept. 1 of their senior year from participating.
O'Connell president Katy Prebble told McKenna that Etou is cleared to play.
"The school has the documentation, including his passport, verifying the age of Junior Etou to be 18," Prebble said.
Knights coach Joe Wootten rebutted the Deadspin report in an interview with the Washington Post on Tuesday.
“Clearly, we have all the legal documentation and you can put anything on a Web site that you want,” Wootten told the Post. “But the bottom line is we have all the legal documentation and we’re fully confident in that documentation.”
You can read McKenna's full report here.