riek The Draft Review - The Draft ReviewThere may be a scheme to circumvent the NBA age rule and no one is really turning heads over it. John Riek, the 7-2 center from Sudan, enrolled at Our Savior New American High School in late 2006 as a sophomore. This past spring, he exploded on the scene at the Lebron James Skills Academy and dominated at the Nike Hoop Jamboree. This resulted in an influx of scholarship offers from UCONN, Duke, Florida and Georgetown. Now all of a sudden Riek claims he isn’t really a high school sophomore, but a 19 year-old post graduate, NBA draft eligible player. How can this be?

Riek’s guardian, Deng Leek, is obviously trying to advance the kid’s chances of getting to the NBA as early as possible. It explains why he only recently presented Riek’s birth certificate and passport to prove the player is older and shouldn’t be in high school. I think Leek withheld this information until now because there was no real gauge of Riek’s draft stock prior to his performance at spring camps. Riek has since left Our Savior and is spending this season at Winchendon Prep as a post graduate student. It made sense for him decline scholarships offers because it decreases his chances being exposed against more fundamentally sound collegiate players. Riek has only played basketball in the states for less than a year, but has the potential to become a top 10 draft pick in 2008 NBA Draft if he declares.

So what’s going on here and how is this allowed? Can an international player reclassify himself whenever it seems beneficial, and what’s to prevent other elite players from doing it in the future? These are very good questions with few answers because no one is really pushing the issue. It’s a threat to recruiting because it could encourage other international players to cheat the system as well.

The root of the problem lies with foreign birth certificates, namely in Africa, where some are alleged to be falsified. In England’s football (soccer) community, the age of Newcastle United’s Nigerian born player, Obafemi Martins, has come under scrutiny as well. As it stands right now there is no definitive way to determine someone’s exact age. The current method involves examining hand, wrist and teeth x-rays, but they can only provide a ballpark age range.

Are high schools and colleges that recruit outside the states going to invest in these tests anytime soon? I doubt it. So until then we’ll have to watch as players like John Riek try to cheat the system.

show?id=sCFoIzjWzPE&bids=101680 The Draft Review - The Draft ReviewTDR Scouting Report: John Riek


-2 #26 Guest 2009-10-07 08:57
No one would be questioning his eligibility if he was a white kid going to Duke.
+1 #25 Guest 2009-08-14 01:58
John Riek is a liar, Mustaphs al Sayed is a liar, the army captain Fatah Maurasi is a liar , Gary Lorden is a liar and Deng Leek is a liar and swindler who borrowed money from a New Jersey businessman and refuses to answer his phone anymore and has abadoned his wife in Maryland and is now the father of another Sudanese womans child in Sudan. All 4 of them are into one thing making money off of John Riek and the funny thing is John Riek will never play in the NBA. Also would Gary Lorden have helped John Riek if he couldn't play basketball? The answer is no, absolutely not.
0 #24 Guest 2009-05-20 07:32
Yeah, he is welcome at Mississippi State. Right now he is recovering from a pretty serious injury, so he is .. hey hey.. younger again.
0 #23 Guest 2009-05-19 08:08
he will fit right in at mississippi state
0 #22 Guest 2008-09-06 10:29
this man could be good if he tell the truth about himself
0 #21 Guest 2008-06-06 08:13
i go to oursavior new american where he used to go. his guardian deng leek also left the school and i dont think they can get into college cause they need to pass an sat which is highly unlikely
0 #20 Guest 2008-05-08 08:21
couple of more pounds, he could be the next oil can boyd. forgot that's baseball. who is this kid? they had him ranked high on rivals.com, but he is nothing more than a project.
0 #19 Guest 2008-05-03 13:42
This kid is a joke, look at his face.[smiley=evil][smiley=cool]
0 #18 Guest 2008-04-29 14:57
0 #17 Guest 2008-04-28 13:08
Duke needs John Riek. If we could get him and have a post player, they could possibly advance in the tournament next year.

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