Sunday, June 14, 2009

Basketball: Kong at Canadian national team camp

There's a little news about Bol Kong.

Kong, just for anyone needing a refresher, is a guard from Vancouver who was supposed to go to a big-time basketball school, Gonzaga, two years ago but, as a citizen of Sudan, was kept out due to visa issues. However, Kong is among 19 college-age and slightly older players whom Canada Basketball has invited to a development camp which begins Monday in Toronto. It wouldn't figure that Canada Basketball would invite someone unless he had received citizenship or was very close to doing so, right? SB Nation's Gonzaga blog, The Slipper Still Fits, jumped to that conclusion, so might as well join 'em there.

"If Bol is a Canadian citizen, he can clearly enter the United States of America. Therefore, if Bol can enter the United States of America, he can play basketball for Gonzaga University (look at my Gonzaga education at work).

"This certainly goes along with what we had been hearing, which was that everything was looking good for Bol, and I wouldn't be overly surprised to see him here in late June for the second session of summer school. What I do know is this is the most definitive news I have seen publicly on the status of Bol, and I think we can start preparing to finally see Bol in a Gonzaga uniform, after over a year of speculation."
Coincidentally, Monday is also the deadline for underclassmen to decide whether to stay in the NBA draft or pull a Rodney Dangerfield and go back to school. Gonzaga's Austin Daye seems to be leaning toward staying in the draft, which would alleviate any concern for Gonzaga about having more players than scholarships. (NCAA Division 1 teams are capped at 13 — no sharesies! — and Gonzaga would have 14 players on the roster if Daye had withdrawn from the draft.

Kong's predicament was pretty big news in the summer of 2007 when he was initially supposed to go to Gonzaga after tearing it up in the B.C. high school ranks, where he played at St. George's School for coach Brian Lee (who has ties to Ottawa; he might have played his high school hoops at Sir Robert Borden at Nepean). The New York Times wrote about him and so did some major political bloggers. Kong decamped to Douglas College in the CCAA for the 2007-08 season. After that, the trail ran cold; even today, there's nothing on Google News when you do a unique search for his name.

There was strong speculation about six weeks ago Kong might play at Trinity Western University if it didn't work out with Gonzaga. The position, as one of's charter contributors, is that if someone is very, very good at her/his sport, then a NCAA Division 1 school is in most cases the place to be since the U.S. institutions have more resources dedicated to sport.

Anyway, calls and e-mails are in to Canada Basketball in hope of getting some confirmation.

Here Comes Kong!!! (The Slipper Still Fits)

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