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Posts tagged: Kong

Updates on Heytvelt, Turiaf, Kong

Never thought I'd have occasion to put these three names in the same sentence, but here are updates on ex-Zags Josh Heytvelt, Ronny Turiaf and Bol Kong.

Links on Heytvelt, who left his team in Italy may be heading back to Turkey; Turiaf helping the Knicks to a big win over Portland; and Kong trying to get back on track in Canada.

Programming note: I'm putting together a feature on Mathis Keita for Thursday's Four Corners page. I'll post it later today.

Kong resuming career in Canada

Former Gonzaga Bulldog forward Bol Kong has returned to Canada to continue his basketball career.


Kong is playing for Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton. He withdrew from GU summer school classes in July. Kong is eligible immediately at NAIT, which is roughly comparable to an NCAA Division II program, head coach Don Phillips said.


Phillips knew Kong, who was born in Sudan but spent most of his life in Canada, before he joined Gonzaga’s program. Kong played in 31 games, scoring in double figures six times, in his only season with the Bulldogs.


“There’s probably not a college in Canada that wouldn’t want him, but what I’ve tried to hammer home is the athlete-student approach is done,” Phillips said. “It has to be student-athlete.”


NAIT has a few exhibition games coming up, but doesn’t officially open until next month.

Kong leaving Gonzaga

Bol Kong is the latest Gonzaga men’s basketball player to exit the program.

Athletic director Mike Roth confirmed the 6-foot-6 Kong has left the program. Roth wasn’t sure of Kong’s plans, but it was his understanding that Kong had returned to Canada. At this point, Kong hasn’t asked for a release to U.S. schools, which indicates he’ll likely play in Canada.

Kong is the fourth Bulldog to depart, following G.J. Vilarino, Grant Gibbs and Andy Poling, who left in January. Gibbs will play for Creighton and Poling is with Seattle Pacific. Vilarino is expected to make his decision in early August.

UPDATE: Here’s Gonzaga’s official release, which states that Kong withdrew from summer school for personal reasons. Find the release here. .

More below.

GU notes

I was at GU’s media day today, but the full-fledged notebook won’t run until Wednesday, when the Bulldogs entertain Augustana.

In the meantime, read on for a couple of items.

Kong, Harris join GU fold

Back with the unedited article on Bol Kong’s arrival, soon to be followed into Spokane by Elias Harris. Read on for more.

Official: Kong is a Zag

Bol Kong is finally a Zag.


Kong, a Sudanese native who has lived in Canada since the age of 7, has enrolled for classes at Gonzaga after obtaining Canadian citizenship recently and his student visa earlier this week. The talented, 6-foot-7 forward verbally committed to the Bulldogs’ basketball program in May, 2008, roughly at the same time as fellow Zag Mangisto Arop, a native of Sudan who also settled in Canada at a young age.


But Kong’s status was in doubt – and the subject of endless Internet debate – as he worked through the immigration process for roughly the last 16 months. Arop’s paperwork apparently was already in order. Kong arrived in Spokane late Wednesday night, his first time on U.S. soil, and was on campus for classes Thursday, Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth said.

Elias Harris, a 6-7 forward who just finished playing for Germany in the European Championships, is expected to arrive in Spokane on Saturday, which would complete GU’s roster for the upcoming season.

More in the next hour or so, including the release of the schedule.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Sean Kramer Sean Kramer is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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