Five-star forward Silvio De Sousa cleared to join KU basketball

Prospect set to join No. 14 Jayhawks when team reconvenes Dec. 26

IMG Academy forward Silvio De Sousa, a five-star prospect in the Class of 2018, was granted permission to graduate early and join Kansas practices beginning Dec. 26. The Jayhawks are working through the NCAA’s amateurism process to receive approval to play De Sousa in games. (File photograph/The Associated Press)

LAWRENCE — A big reinforcement is officially on its way to the Kansas basketball team.

 

Silvio De Sousa, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward and five-star prospect in the Class of 2018 at recruiting outlet Rivals, has completed the required coursework that will enable him to graduate at semester and report to KU early, coach Bill Self told The Topeka Capital-Journal late Friday.

De Sousa will join the Jayhawks (10-2) immediately following the team’s Christmas break.

“We are now working through the NCAA’s amateurism process and hope to have him certified as soon as possible for game competition,” Self said. “He is eligible to practice immediately and will report (Tuesday).”

An Angola native, De Sousa and his camp spent the last several weeks attempting to gather his previous coursework information from his schooling in the African country while also finishing his coursework at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and completing the necessary standardized testing to become eligible. Those hurdles were cleared Friday.

If approved to play ahead of the No. 14-ranked Jayhawks’ next contest, an 8 p.m. Dec. 29 tilt at Texas, De Sousa would become only the third scholarship frontcourt player on the team’s active roster, joining 7-foot sophomore center Udoka Azubuike and 6-8 sophomore forward Mitch Lightfoot. Earlier in the week, Self said De Sousa would need at least two weeks of reps before becoming fully integrated but added the forward would see immediate action as a plug-in option off the bench.

Friday didn’t provide an update on freshman forward Billy Preston, inactive for KU’s last 11 contest as university officials sought a “clearer financial picture” on a vehicle he was driving at the time of a single-car accident Nov. 11 on campus. Self said Tuesday that the situation was now “out of (KU’s) hands and somebody else is going to make the decision” regarding the former five-star prospect’s eligibility.

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