Before you rule out the existence of mermaids, the nation's best college basketball player wants you to think twice and watch a Discovery Channel "documentary" about the subject.

In a revealing Wall Street Journal profile on Duke's Jahlil Okafor, Ben Cohen talked to the big man about, among other things, his television habits and his love for the mystical.


It turns out Okafor is a Netflix binger, which isn't all that unusual for a college freshman. More telling is that Okafor has a fascination with science fiction and loves creatures like mermaids and Bigfoot.

“That’s always been my interest,” Okafor told Cohen. “Things of the unknown.”

Okafor has tried, to varying degrees of success, to get his teammates to watch documentaries with him about these phenomena. One of those is the Discovery Channel's Mermaids: The Body Found, which represented itself as real.

"I tried to tell them," Okafor said about the documentary. "They wouldn’t listen."

Unfortunately for Okafor and young girls everywhere, the documentary was in fact not real.

Okafor never explicitly said he believed in mermaids, but that hasn't stopped people on Twitter from going after him for his interest in the sea creatures.




Okafor isn't the first high profile college player to be fooled by something he thought was authentic, but at least Manti Te'o was done with his collegiate days by the time his folly was revealed.

Okafor's Duke squad is ranked fourth in the nation and as it heads into a game against archrival North Carolina on Wednesday night. The game is at Duke, but when the two teams square off again in March, it won't be a surprise to see Tar Heels fans pillorying Okafor for his questionable beliefs.

Related Story: The Time J.J. Redick Rooted For UNC