Monday, June 29, 2015

Passport thief thwarts KU forward Dwight Coleby’s plan

Mississippi center Dwight Coleby, left, looks to pass as he's defended by Arkansas forward Jacorey Williams in this photo from Jan. 17 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Mississippi center Dwight Coleby, left, looks to pass as he's defended by Arkansas forward Jacorey Williams in this photo from Jan. 17 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.


Bahamas National Team/future Kansas University power forward Dwight Coleby couldn’t play next to his older brother, Kadeem, in the Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championships June 8-21 in Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

The brothers’ planned reunion wasn’t wrecked because of any untimely injury.

It was spoiled by a thief who broke into Coleby’s buddy’s car outside a Nassau gymnasium and swiped clothes, shoes and, more importantly, Coleby’s passport.

The passport was stolen three days before Coleby was to leave for the CBC tourney. To get a new one, he needed a copy of the police report to take to Bahamas passport office. The report was delayed for unknown reasons.

“You would think that some people who have the authority would have assisted and made sure that he was able to go (on trip with teammates),” an irate Bahamas National team coach Mario Bowleg told the Bahamas Tribune.

“He was told that he will not be able to get the police report until Friday — a week later and the same time that we are traveling. Tell me why he has to wait a week after to get the report when he already made it known to them (police) that he is trying to travel with the men’s national team. We thought that they would have made a special effort to try to get the report out in sufficient time so that he can apply for the passport,” Bowleg added to the Tribune.

Coleby has since received a new passport in the mail. However, he is waiting on a copy of an I-20 form, which he needs to bring to the U.S. Embassy in Bahamas to receive a new visa.

This means he likely won’t be in Lawrence for approximately two weeks. He had hoped to have been here right at the conclusion of the CBC tourney.

“I’m really disappointed because I came here (Nassau) to make the team, but someone else (thief) had to ruin it for me,” Coleby told the Bahamas Tribune.

“It was a holiday (Bahamas Labor Day) so I guess they had to find a way to do their mischief. When they got everything else (sports equipment), they could have dropped the passport. It would have saved me a lot of time and energy. Now I will miss this opportunity to travel with the national team. I was really looking forward to playing again this year.”

Bahamas went on to win five of six games and place second at the tournament. Dwight’s brother, former Wichita State player Kadeem Coleby, was the only double-figure scorer in a 71-65 loss to Virgin Islands in the CBC finals.

“We had a good time last year (in qualifying tournament), and I was really looking forward to playing with him (Kadeem) again,” Coleby said.

The good news is a top-three finish means Bahamas has qualified for next summer’s Centrobasket Championships, where the Coleby brothers finally can be reunited on the court.

“Dwight’s been looking good during workouts. What I’ve been impressed with is, he’s hitting the outside shot,” Coleby’s high school and AAU coach, Darrell Sears, said in a Sunday interview with the Journal-World. “I know what he can do inside (averaging 5.4 points, 4.8 boards at Ole Miss his sophomore season). But he’s been hitting 15 all the way to 20 (feet) ... hitting that shot consistently.

“He has the body,” Sears added. “My biggest thing is coach (Bill) Self and the Kansas coaches will get him to play to the highest standard. Playing against guys going to the pros and Europe at practice ... every practice will be like a game. This year is so critical for him.”

As a transfer he can practice but not play in games until 2016-17 season.

“If he stays healthy and learns what coach Self wants, I see no reason no matter who is coming in there ... when he is ready to play in 2016-17 I see no reason for him if not be a starter to be a major contributor,” Sears added.

Chukwu to Syracuse: Paschal Chukwu, a 7-foot-2 center who left Providence after his freshman season, has decided to transfer to Syracuse. He also visited KU, Michigan State, Nebraska and Iona. KU had no scholarships available, thus he would have had to pay his own way to KU one year before being eligible for a scholarship in 2016-17.


Rodney Pain 6 years, 10 months ago

Chukwu to Cuse made sense once KU was out of scholarships. I'm not sure that I would have picked Coleby over Chuckwu given the choice, but now that it's been decided, the only thing to do is hope we got the better end of the deal. You never know. Sometimes when you think you've been given the short end of the stick, it turns out you had the high hand all along.

Ashwin Rao 6 years, 10 months ago

Wow! People overanalyze everything! This is how the cards fell into place, just sit back and enjoy the fun ride!

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 10 months ago

Agree Rodney. I think Paschal Chukwu might have been the better of the two but Coleby never gave him a chance. He liked what he saw then made a decision.

I'm a little surprised Syracuse offered with their scholarships being cut but they obviously still had one left. I thought he would've gone to Michigan State.

And as you say, Coleby might very well be the better fit for Kansas.

Scott Grimsley 6 years, 10 months ago

It appears Chuckwu wanted KU, more than KU wanted Chuckwu. Thon Maker is staying as a 2016 recruit. Losing 3 senior big men and maybe Diallo as well, Self can make a strong play for the more talented 7 footer. Not that any of it matters. We are going to be really good this year. Really good.

Josh Galler 6 years, 10 months ago

Or maybe coelby wanted to commit before chuckwu wanted to

Glen Miller 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm telling you people..... Thon Maker is talented, but comes with a lot of baggage and I am not sure the sanctions, ineligibility or any of those things that might come with him are worth it. He was going to go to school for a half year or play over seas and head off to the pros, it's obvious that he's not real interested in college. I think I'd rather have someone else personally.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 10 months ago

I"m confused about the part about waiting for the I-20 form. I-20, like most forms of that type are available on-line.

Here is the link for the I-20 form:

Not putting your passport in a secure place and "waiting" on the I-20 form leaves me suspicious if this kid has his act together.

Keith Gellar 6 years, 10 months ago

I agree...who leaves a passport in his car?

I think they are meaning the completed and endorsed I-20. That's something KU will have to give to himin a sealed envelope and he will need to take this with him to the US embassy to get his visa stamped.

Al Martin 6 years, 10 months ago

Well, color me a moron then :-). For years (decades, really), I kept my passport in my backpack for easy access (and I'm all grown up and everything!). One day about three years ago, I left my backpack in my car for a short stop at a store, and lo and behold, upon my return, backpack and passport were stolen. Gigantic pain in the neck, even though I didn't have immediate travel plans.

I'll grant you, I don't behave that way anymore, and I take (and took at the time) full responsibility for being a bit of a twit, but I feel obliged to cut the kid a bit of slack, anyway.

Ron Sterling 6 years, 10 months ago

Apparently there was an issue recently in the State Department's computer system that prevented the from issuing visas. The problem has been resolved, but there has been quite the back log. I think that's what Coleby is waiting on.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 10 months ago

You can't be serious Suzi. This is the same kid who chose KU and did it before Paschal Chukwu (who thought taking a grand tour of every university that expressed an interest in him was a good decision) ever had a chance to commit to KU. I find it difficult to doubt one's "act together" based on a single decision.

RJ King 6 years, 10 months ago


I just don't get the knee-jerk reaction to wag fingers, tsk tsk, and franticly leap on the soapbox.

My first thought was, my gosh - poor kid. He's already missing the Korea trip. He gets a chance to spend time with family, and then this happens. As his parent, I would've first consoled him, second helped him, and last of all assured him that, with more awareness, it will likely not happen again.

Gary Bedore 6 years, 10 months ago

Tough crowd here. Dwight's stuff got stolen. Stuff happens.

Greg Ledom 6 years, 10 months ago

Agree on all fronts Gary. Lord knows, nothing ever gets stolen while it's in your possession. Wait.......what.... ; -)

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 10 months ago

Rodney, I'll give you a little pat on the back here. I don't think that you are overanalyzing anything. You simply made a comment, and I happen to agree with you.

I like Coleby's attitude - - not to say that I don't like Chukwu's. I just have a hunch that, once Coach Self and his coach have their chance to help develop Dwight, he will have a bright future beyond KU.

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 10 months ago

Oops, should have said "Coach Self and his staff".

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 10 months ago

Gary - I understand all about stuff happens. Waiting on the I-20 form coupled with leaving a passport unsecured raises my question. Why would the I-20 be such a problem? A combination of emails and FedEx knocks this kind of thing out for a couple even the most critical and sensitive documents even international.

Gary Bedore 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm pretty sure KU has to fill out stuff on the I-20 form and send it back to him. They want to have all official documentation ready so he doesn't get declined admission to the USA when he gets here and has to be detained or worse yet fly back to Bahamas. Dwight wants all original documents in his possession. This is not a big deal. I feel sorry for the guy. His stuff got stolen. He didn't know somebody was gonna break into his buddy's car and take his passport. I've left my passport in my car lotsa times, yes I have.

Allison Steen 6 years, 10 months ago

Do you all forget that these freshman are 18 or 19 years old? They are kids and they do stupid stuff. I cannot believe how much negativity shown towards Dwight because someone else stole his passport. It doesn't even really affect us so whats the big deal?

Keith Gellar 6 years, 10 months ago

i was 16 when i traveled internationally by my self for the first time and even back then, i had the sense to always keep my passport with me..its common sense. For someone who's from a different country, Coleby should already know the value of the passport and the visa much of a hassle it is. mindnumbing!

RJ King 6 years, 10 months ago

The article doesn't elaborate on the circumstances other than to say it was outside a Nassau gym. We have no idea what the locker room facilities - if any - are like, or what Coleby was doing there. (Playing in a game?)

Good for you for being so responsible with your belongings when you were 16, and for just oozing common sense. You're also good at being sanctimonious and judgmental of a person and situation you know very little about. Looks like your empathy quotient is pretty low.

Gary Bedore 6 years, 10 months ago

Never in my wildest dreams did I think anybody would "blame" Dwight if blame is the right word for having his passport ripped off. What if he would have had it on his person in the gym and left it in the bathroom and somebody kept it after finding it in the bathroom? LOL. Or what if he dropped it when somebody asked him for an autograph and it fell behind the bleachers in the gym forevermore? What if he brings his new passport to Kansas and figures he now better carry it with him at all times and he drops it and it falls down a sewer in Chicago before the Champions Classic and it's gone again?

Stuff happens. I still feel sorry for anybody who gets his/her stuff ripped off. Hasn't happened to me since I was really young in Vegas when I got my wallet ripped off on the street while watching 4th fireworks. That was a major hassle. No drivers license for trip home, credit cards and money gone except the money I had in hotel safe.

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