Monday, May 04, 2009

CIS Corner: Looking out for Bol Kong, part II

There are rumblings surrounding Vancouver baller Bol Kong.

Kong is the Sudan-born swingman who's been trying to get a visa to enter the U.S. since 2007 so he can play at Gonzaga. It got a lot of coverage two summers ago. He's lived two-thirds of his life in Canada but is a Sudanese citizen, which is the cause of a lot of red tape.

Since Rob Pettapiece put up a post late last week speculating that he might opt for a Canadian school this season, three anonymous commenters have said that the 6-foot-7 Kong is likely to join the Trinity Western Spartans out in Langley, B.C. Trinity has already added one semi-notable transfer, Tyrell Mara, who played in the NCAA Tournament twice with Portland State (he can play right away since he's starting a new degree), so their time is now.

Understandably, maybe this only becomes newsworthy for the dead-tree medium once it is clear whether Kong can enter the U.S. or the Vancouver Canucks are out of the playoffs, whichever comes first.

One commenter thought there was something to the fact Kong's former coach at St. George's School in Vancouver, former Ottawa resident Brian Lee, has joined TWU's staff after previously stating he planned to pull back from coaching. To reiterate Rob's point, Gonzaga is also budgeted scholarship-wise if Kong can't come.
"Gonzaga's recent acquisition of Dallas-area point guard G.J. Vilarino has excited the fanbase in and around Spokane; however, it leaves 14 players for 13 scholarships. Basically, someone has to go. All else being equal, if you were the Bulldogs and had one player whose candidacy unfortunately required lots more work than the others, who might you lean towards when choosing your odd man out?

It makes one wonder whether Kong will stay closer to home. His adopted hometown is Vancouver, and the improved TWU Spartans are but one team in that area who could use a player of his talent, but we'll leave the speculation for his basketball career (NCAA, CIS, or wherever), to those who know more."
It is something to keep an eye on. The role of a blog is to say, "I bet people would like to hear about this," and hope that the paid, professional media follow suit. It's the difference between flipping rocks over and pointing out there are some rocks that need to be flipped.

One would hope Kong gets a resolution soon. It's past the point of doing a passionate plea. It does seem unusual that he would practise with Trinity Western players if he was only doing so to keep in shape. Lee's role is is neat variable, too. He is a former coach at St. Francis Xavier and Kong has been previously been rumoured to be headed there.

Mara, Kong and reigning CIS player of the year Jacob Doerksen all on one team would be pretty formidable, on paper. This will also be the first season where a B.C. team's road to the CIS Final 8 won't go through the UBC Thunderbirds, since the Canada West conference is dropping down to two divisions with cross-over playoffs.

(Cross-posted to

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