South African Kobe Ndebele Will Join Texas Longhorns for Spring 2022 Semester

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The bounds of the Texas men’s swimming & diving machine seem to know no bounds, and the Longhorns hopes for a run at a 2022 NCAA title seem to have gotten a little stronger on Monday.

South African swimmer Kobe Ndebele has announced his commitment to join the Longhorns. He’ll arrive with the team in spring 2022, and plans to compete for the team this season.

“I am looking forward to being in a consistent training space for 4 years,  and seeing how much I can improve in the water,” Ndebele said. “I am also looking forward to racing in yards and being a part of this great Texas team.”

Ndebele trains with the Seals Swimming Club in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, and has since January of this year. That’s the same club that has produced, among others, fellow spring 2022 arrival Matt Sates of Georgia.

Ndebele says that after feeling stagnant in his prior club, his transfer to Seals has jump-started his progress. In September at the South African Short Course Championships, he finished 5th in the 200 free (1:48.65), 100 fly (54.82), and 100 free (49.63).

That earned him a trip to the FINA World Cup Series stops in October, racing in Berlin, Budapest, and Doha (but not Kazan). His results there peaked in Doha, finishing 8th in the 50 free, 9th in the 100 free, 7th in the 200 free, and 10th in the 100 fly.

Best Times in LCM/SCM (SCY Conversions):

SCY Conversion
50 free 22.66 23.52 20.41
100 free 48.79 50.87 43.95
200 free 1:47.26 1:53.69 1:36.63
100 fly 54 56.23 48.64

Ndebele’s best chance for an immediate contribution at the NCAA Championship level would be on a 400 or 800 free relay, depending on how quickly he adapts to Texas’ training. That all is under the guise that the Longhorns will almost definitely have to leave swimmers home again. The sprint group is led by Drew Kibler (43.74 this season), Daniel Krueger (#2 nationally in 43.05 this season), and 5th year senior Cameron Auchinachie (a transfer from Denver).

Breaststroker Caspar Corbeau has also shown some good freestyle speed that didn’t appear much in his freshman season at Texas – he swam 43.89 against Virginia last week. Carson Foster is the other contender for that final spot in the 400 free relay – he swam it against Virginia and split 43.44 on a rolling start.

The 18-year old Ndebele is a rare international recruit for Eddie Reese’s Longhorns. The only other notable example in the last decade, or more, is Joseph Schooling of Singapore, but even he went to high school in the United States.

Texas are the defending NCAA Champions in men’s swimming and have won 5 of the last 6 national titles.

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8 months ago

I remember my coach saying that the athletic department, and all the teams we sponsored, was expected to bring in a certain number of out-of-state students. If we didn’t hit X, New York State would cut a certain portion of funding (we were a public school). I wonder if bringing in international students would also be important, but I don’t know.

Reply to  Thomas
8 months ago

Eddie brings in National titles, I think the AD is less worried about student quotas

8 months ago

Just thankful Texas losing to Kansas this weekend didn’t turn him away!

Reply to  Wethorn
8 months ago

Vandy is excited to have them join the SEC! 😏

PK doesn’t like his long name
8 months ago

Caspar is the same boat as Joe-international swimmer who did HS in the US.

Reply to  PK doesn’t like his long name
8 months ago

They had an Israeli breastroker about 5 years ago

JP input is too short
Reply to  Ghost
8 months ago

Imri Ganiel!

Reply to  JP input is too short
8 months ago


Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Braden Keith
8 months ago

Caspar has dual citizenship, so he’s not just an American.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
8 months ago

Does he speak fluent Dutch?

8 months ago

why doesn’t Texas recruit internationally?

Right Dude Here
Reply to  curious
8 months ago

You should ask Caspar Corbeau or Joe Schooling.

Reply to  Right Dude Here
8 months ago

Corbeau was born and raised in the US

Reply to  curious
8 months ago

Borgstroem is on the roster, but they don’t heavily recruit internationally. In my experience, teams opt for international guys when it’s harder to get USA kids (international swimmers more likely to commit to lesser known/not top tier programs).

Honestly that is the easiest way to build a program if you’re a new HC of a Power 5 team. Luck out on a couple international kids to score high at NCAAs until top tier USA kids are interested enough to attend. Louisville/NC State are two programs where that seems to be working.

If I had to guess, Texas doesn’t recruit much outside the states because they can get all the talent they need from the U.S.

Last edited 8 months ago by Swimm
Reply to  curious
8 months ago

My guess is it is because of the scholarship gymnastics Texas has to play with all their current elite talent. I doubt that a single swimmer on that roster is on anything close to a full athletic scholarship–the rest is subsidized by in-state tuition (why they love to recruit guys from the state), or need-based FA. Many public universities do not provide FA to international students, so if they aren’t from a family of money, they’d need all of their costs to be covered by an athletic scholarship, which Texas just doesn’t have the room to offer.

There was a rumor I once heard that Schooling wasn’t on an athletic scholarship to Texas. But the majority of international students are… Read more »

Reply to  curious
8 months ago

dont think they need to lol, and plus scholarship $ is probably an issue in terms of getting internationals on board

Reply to  curious
8 months ago

1) Eddie feels a loyalty to be preparing the USA National Team swimmers as opposed to rival countries
2) They’re able to get so much talent from the U.S., they kind of don’t “need to” — i.e., they’ve won without it

Mr. Pack
Reply to  curious
8 months ago

Because Texans can’t pronounce names with 4 consonants in a row.

Reply to  curious
8 months ago

they don’t need to

Reply to  curious
8 months ago

1) They don’t give out full rides
2) They generally don’t need to. They do very well without international recruits

Reply to  curious
8 months ago

Your question was answered in depth by Eddie Reece in the outstanding interview Brett Hawke did with him.

In short, 1) He has a preference for developing American swimmers because many go on to represent the U.S. in the Olympics (29 of his swimmers have made the Olympic Team) and 2) Most foreign athletes need more scholarship money than in-state or American athletes do. With only 9.9 scholarships and 26 swimmers making NCAA cuts, that doesn’t leave much money for foreign athletes. My guess is that Kobe is receiving only a very small stipend of a scholarship, if anything.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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