Junior Etou’s performance for Bishop O’Connell’s basketball team in its 68–48 rout of powerhouse DeMatha Catholic on Jan. 11 was a sight to behold. The 6-foot-7 forward pulled down 19 rebounds, leaving one O’Connell alum to remark, “It was like watching Chris Webber play a bunch of high school kids.”
There might be a good reason why Etou — who is ranked the No. 142 recruit in the nation and has scholarship offers from Kansas, West Virginia, Memphis, Maryland, Miami (FL) and Clemson — has been so dominant: He might be as much as five years older than the players he shares a court with and older than even Washington Wizards’ rookie guard Bradley Beal (19).
The roster of a 2010 Basketball Without Borders camp in Dakar lists the native of the Republic of Congo’s date of birth as 4/6/1992, which would make him 20 years old. (He is listed under his full name, Luc Junior Tselan Tsiene Etou, on the roster.) A spokesman from FIBA — who organized the camp — confirmed the accuracy of Etou’s age in an email exchange with Deadspin.
If true, Etou would be too old to play at O’Connell, as the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference prohibits anyone who turns 19 before Sept. 1 of their senior year from suiting up. According to O’Connell president Katy Prebble, “The school has the documentation, including his passport, verifying the age of Junior Etou to be 18.”
We’re curious to see how the end result of all this affects the scholarship offers Etou has received – to say nothing of O’Connell’s season – in what could be a Danny Almonte situation.