I hate people telling me who is going to be great, I dislike grading High School recruits anymore. You never know what a 17 year-old will actually project to at the college ranks. Sure you could come pretty close, but for most programs, this isn’t horseshoes and hand grenades. While huge power programs will get multiple commits from top-tier prospects, a smaller one might only land a single Top 100 recruit once every seven years. And this is why the curious case of Junior Etou is neat.
Etou, a native of Congo, is projected as the 142nd ranked prospect according to Rivals. That’s a pretty high ranking for those unfamiliar with recruiting lists. But you know what number is greater than 142, well just here really, 20. That’s what Deadspin and Washington D.C. sports columnist Dave McKenna found to be Etou’s real age.
Outside the obvious, Deadspin is setting the investigative sports world on fire, the fact that a 20 year-old is playing high schools hoops is big news. Especially considering he’s one of the top recruits in the country. McKenna did some matchmaking of Etou’s play for Congo Republic team in the FIBA Africa Championship in Tripoli and Benghazi as well as the Africa U18 Championship in May 2010. Both listed his birthday as June 4, 1992, making him 20.
Like I said before, I’m not a huge fan of grading High School kids. But even I can recognize that this will negatively sway teams hard on the Etou recruiting trail.
Joe covers the Catholic Seven for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the Twitter Machine @JosephNardone