Power forward from Ghana lands at Archbishop Carroll

Posted: September 27, 2012

THESE DAYS, almost every high school basketball program adds transfers from one season to the next.

For the moment, we'll assume a new guy at Archbishop Carroll can lay claim to having traveled the longest distance to reach his new school.

Now among the Patriots is Ernest Aflakpui, a 6-8, 190-pound sophomore power forward/center from Accra, the capital of Ghana.

One potential problem: Carroll coach Paul Romanczuk said he has a birth certificate, passport and visa showing that Aflakpui is 15 years old and won't turn 16 for 2 months.

However, last January, on a blog operated by a man claiming to be a director of the Fadama Basketball Academy, in Ghana, Aflakpui was described as an 18-year old senior at his school, Keta Technical, and the man added, "I've got some wonderful responds from colleges in the united States of America witch am not goanna disclose to you now but very soon things will work out well for [Aflakpui] and we'll all see him playing in his dream school."

"I can Google, too," Romanczuk said. "I saw that, and I was concerned. But we've checked into this situation a number of ways.

"Do you believe everything you see on the Internet? As far as I'm concerned, there's no controversy. He's 15 years old . . . If we're being misled, so is the Department of Homeland Security."

Romanczuk, a star at Carroll and Penn, is the son-in-law of Sixers coach Doug Collins. Aflakpui arrived here Sept. 9 and was steered to Carroll, Romanczuk said, by one of his numerous hoops contacts. Aflakpui is living with the family of recent Carroll basketball player Pat Finnegan.

Thus far, by rule, Carroll's players are involved only in conditioning drills and pickup games.

"He said he has only been playing for 5 years," Romanczuk said. "He runs the floor, plays hard, has good footwork. I can't really think of someone to compare him to, but he looks pretty good."

English is Ghana's official language.

Contact Ted Silary at silaryt@phillynews.com.


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