Examining Nathan Kouamou: KSAT Investigates Balling for Uvalde World Weekend

Kouamou offered to raise the millions needed to build a recreation center dedicated to the Robb victims

HOUSTON – A man who promised to raise millions of dollars in support of the Robb Elementary School victims through a big-name concert may not be who he says he is.

That concert never happened even though thousands of tickets may have been sold.

KSAT did some digging into Nathan Kouamou’s past and his now-defunct nonprofit organization to learn more about the man who promised to help build a recreational and wellness center in Uvalde dedicated to the 21 lives lost at Robb Elementary on May 24.

Looking at Kouamou’s social media pages, he’s a proud former professional athlete.

“Nathan was a soccer player, and he went on to play pro soccer with the Houston Dynamo,” said Pastor Richard Rodriguez, an administrator at Christian Life Center Academy.

But according to a statement from the Major League Soccer organization, “Nathan did not play for the team. He might of joined us for a tryout or reserve team, but he did not sign a contract with the team.”

“If he didn’t play pro ball with the Dynamo, I feel deceived,” Rodriguez said.

KSAT 12 News reporter Leigh Waldman showed pastor Rodriguez a website that appeared to be linked to his school Christian Life Center Academy.

It details the school’s soccer program and lists Kouamou as the assistant coach.

“The page you showed me a while ago is not our page either. That’s not on our website, as far as I know,” Rodriguez said. “We’ve never had a soccer team. We don’t have one now.”

A few days later, Rodriguez called and said their IT team did some digging and found the web page was created in 2013, and he’s not sure who made it.

While the website is still active, any mention of Kouamou has been removed.

Kouamou’s social media links to the Baller Foundation. According to Twitter, it’s a 501(c)3 that uses sports to impact the health and well-being of youth.

We pulled IRS records and found Baller Foundation earned its nonprofit status in 2017. It was revoked three years later.

Waldman wanted to speak with Kouamou about what we found, so she stopped by his office address in Houston.

“Nathan Kouamou with Baller Academy,” Waldman asked someone working at the WeWork reception desk.

“He’s not here anymore,” the employee answered. “We’re all here in the last six months, and he hasn’t been here.”

Pulling public records, we stopped by Kouamou’s last two known addresses.

No luck, but we aren’t the only ones looking for him.

KSAT 12 News was reached out to by a man whose real name is Nathan Baller, who lives in Minnesota.

Years ago, Baller looked up his name on social media and found Nathan Kouamou’s pages. Kouamou refers to himself by the last name Baller.

“I got a very strange call from a debt collector. Don’t have any debts that I’m aware of,” Baller said.

That call came last April or May, but they were looking for the Nathan Baller associated with Baller Academy, Kouamou’s organization.

Reginald Hardy had the same thing happen to him.

His Houston-based nonprofit is also called The Baller Academy.

Hardy has known Kouamou for years.

“When God took my mother at 3, he gave me the sixth sense,” Hardy said. “The last time I spoke to him, all my hair stood up.”

Because their companies share the same name, Hardy started hearing from debt collectors in October. He texted Kouamou about it.

“Got a disturbing letter in the mail last week that showed you owing over $14,000 to some sort of management company,” Hardy said, referencing the message.

Kouamou responded to Hardy’s text message, saying he didn’t have a management company and didn’t know what he was talking about.

Waldman sent Kouamou an email asking about Hardy’s message, texted him about the Balling for Uvalde World Weekend that never happened, and about the 4,500 tickets he claimed to have sold. She still has not received a response.

“Do you believe in karma? Because I do. And it may not get you tomorrow or the next day you do, but somewhere down the line *pop* it’s gonna get you,” Hardy said.


Thousands of dollars raised for festival that never happened; KSAT investigates Balling for Uvalde World Weekend

About the Authors

Leigh Waldman is an investigative reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

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