The second round of Thursday night’s NBA draft was full of obscure players from foreign leagues, but no one selected has as unknown a profile as Tanguy Ngombo. A 6-6 forward from the Qatar League, Ngombo was virtually unknown by even the most committed ‘draft junkies’ until Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com tweeted about his potential selection by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second round.
Sure enough, Givony was right — Minnesota took Tanguy Ngombo on Thursday night with the 58th overall pick.
But according to sports analyst Fran Fraschilla, Tanguy Ngombo exists, but his story doesn’t check out. When the Wolves selected him Thursday night, they thought they were getting a 21-year-old unknown superstar. Instead, they found crap, because Ngombo is really 26 years old. Givony tweeted the truth on Friday afternoon:
Uh-oh, looks like our guy T’Wolves draft pick Tanguy Ngombo has been busted for lying about his age: http://bit.ly/kfxzqp (hat-tip @sJacas )
Here is a direct link to the FIBA website archive with Tanguy Ngombo ‘s profile and date of birth: http://bit.ly/lxStcJ
It looks like even Qatar is lising Tanguy Ngombo as being born in 1984: http://bit.ly/m5NXPI – I don’t think there’s any way around this now
NBA rules dictate that European players become automatically eligible for the league only at 22 years old. Since Tanguy Ngombo’s real age of 26 appears to have been a matter of public record, the selection should have never been allowed to happen and may be voided after the fact.
If the Timberwolves have a case to keep Tanguy Ngombo, it’s that the Qatar links look to be more official listings, so it looks as if the Wolves (and the NBA, to be sure) appear not to have done their due diligence. If they want Ngombo, they may have to sign him to a contract. Of course, it’s also not entirely clear why any franchise would want a 26-year-old forward who plays in a low-level league in the Middle East. The only reason Minnesota should want to hold on to the pick is to avoid embarrassment.
Failing to look into the full history of Tanguy Ngombo may be impossible to top.