Wednesday, August 30, 2017

KU lands commitment from 5-star, 2018 power forward Silvio De Sousa

Team Drive''s Silvio De Sousa #22 shoots a free throw against Team Clutch in the Under Armour Elite 24 game on Saturday, August 20, 2016 in Brooklyn, NY.

Team Drive''s Silvio De Sousa #22 shoots a free throw against Team Clutch in the Under Armour Elite 24 game on Saturday, August 20, 2016 in Brooklyn, NY.


His visit came out of nowhere and the whole process of recruiting him was shorter than most. But that was all of the time Class of 2018, five-star big man Silvio De Sousa needed to discover that Kansas was the right place for him.

Wednesday morning, during a layover in Germany on his way back home to Angola, the 6-foot-9, 244-pound De Sousa told the Journal-World that he had orally committed to Kansas last Sunday, at the end of his official visit to Lawrence last weekend.

By Monday night, De Sousa was on a plane bound for his home country so he could play for Angola in the upcoming FIBA Afrobasket 2017, Sept. 8-16 in Senegal and Tunisia.

“When I was there in Kansas, I couldn’t even express myself or how I was feeling,” De Sousa told the Journal-World. “When you love something, there’s no way you will describe it. I knew about their basketball but I didn’t know about the campus, the coaches and stuff like that. I felt like that was the place I wanted to be, the culture and the coaches were so great around me. That’s one of the things I’ve been looking for and I found that in them.”


IMG Academy's Silvio De Sousa #22 in action against Wasatch Academy during a high school basketball game at the 2017 Hoophall Classic on Sunday, January 15, 2017, in Springfield, MA.

De Sousa said he was so comfortable with the entire KU program, from the players and coaches to their wives and the program’s support staff, that he knew before he left that he did not need to see any other programs.

“Once I find what I want, what I’ve been looking for, I wouldn’t like to take any more visits,” he said. “Kansas is my final destination.”

Ranked No. 18 nationally by, and No. 30 overall by the 247 Sports composite rankings, De Sousa chose Kansas over heavy interest from Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, North Carolina, Syracuse and others.

The Angola native who has been living with a guardian in Florida for nearly four years said his first contact with Kansas came during his freshman year in Florida. But the process really picked up this summer, according to De Sousa, who has drawn comparisons to former Kentucky forward Julius Randle and former Kansas standout Thomas Robinson.

As is the case with most of the top talent in the country, 247 Sports reported that the Jayhawks offered a scholarship to De Sousa this Spring. But the belief from most recruiting services was that Maryland was the team to beat. That changed over the weekend, when De Sousa liked what he saw from Kansas so much that he decided to end the process and commit.

“It was the family atmosphere,” De Sousa's guardian, Fenny Falmagne, told the Journal-World via telephone from his home in Florida. “Any time you go to a place where you feel like you’ve known the people for years and years, it makes a difference. I was joking with (KU) Coach (Bill) Self like he was a guy I had known for 10 years and it was my first time meeting him. So that speaks volumes.”

Falmagne, 31, said the decision to visit KU last weekend took on the feel of a family deciding on a whim to hop in the car to visit old friends.

“Coach Self said, ‘When do you want to do it,’” Falmagne recalled. “And I was like, ‘We’re not doing anything this weekend.’ And he said, ‘OK, let’s do it this weekend.’ That’s really how it went. The whole visit set up was just about being comfortable with each other. And he committed because we wanted to get this out of the way so he can focus on his academics and his national team and all that kind of stuff. But Kansas is where he wants to go and we’re not taking any more visits.”

As for the visit to Kansas, Falmagne said the strong family vibe that both he and De Sousa felt from the entire KU roster, both on the phone prior to the visit and in person last weekend, inspired De Sousa to end his recruitment.

“I was just highly impressed and I’ve talked to a bunch of coaches,” said Falmagne, originally from the Republic of the Congo, who added that he has worked as a guardian with around 16 college basketball players during the past several years. “They were not trying to put on a show, we didn’t see fancy stuff or gold plates or anything like that. Everything was simple and they really focused on Silvio and who he was and what he needs. That’s what made the difference. Silvio saw that and said, ‘This feels like home. I want this.’”

Added De Sousa, who will turn 19 on Oct. 7: “I wanted a place I will be happy and I feel like Kansas is that place.”


Robert Brock 5 years ago

Now, if the Hawks can get Dotson to commit, things will be rolling along superbly.

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 5 years ago

Wow! Great get! RCJH! It's a relief to get our first big time commitment in a year we will need a few! Hopefully Devon Dotson will follow suit.

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 5 years ago

Wow, this is what I love to hear. A Robinson type player that just fell in love with the school rather than the recruitment.

Steve Zimmerman 5 years ago

w00t w00t!!! Now this is big news!!! Congrats to coaches for landing another prized recruit!!! Welcome to the Jayhawk FOE Ballers, Silvio!!! This made my day already!!!

Brett Gaul 5 years ago

Best news I've heard all day! Sounds like a great kid.

Dave McClain 5 years ago

There really is "no place like home!" Welcome to Lawrence, Kansas!

Len Shaffer 5 years ago


Given how often you hear the type of comments that he made, it's a wonder that Self EVER loses out on a recruit.

Ryan Zimmerman 5 years ago

Looks like him and Dok are going to have something in common... as far as rim hangtime

Bryce Landon 5 years ago

Is that supposed to be Portuguese?

Gerry Butler 5 years ago

Hell ya - - Boo-ya - - -Welcome to the family Big guy, sounds like he literally fell in love with the staff - -the campus - -everything - -" FAMILY " - -welcome to Jay Hawk Nation - - Signs of big things to come. - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Chris DeWeese 5 years ago

Great birthday present. Thanks, Silvio!

Matt Stone 5 years ago

I am torn. Love getting Silvio and just hoping it doesn't hurt chances to get Zion or Bol Bol. Doctson and Mcormick hopefully are on board too. With Lawson Brothers on roster it should be a good battle for front court play.

Shannon Gustafson 5 years ago

No kid in the top 5 should be worried about us signing someone ranked significantly higher than them. While Zion is a similar size, he's a one and done talent. Bol Bol is in his own world from a size/playing style standpoint so he doesn't really have to worry about anyone else.

Steve Zimmerman 5 years ago

No offense, but Zion is overhype. Bol Bol is too weak. Those so called analysts need to change their prescription glasses. Melo is well, he's just a kid on the block... waaay to much bbbbb+s...

Gerry Butler 5 years ago

Not sure what you've been watching but ummm - - -ZION is far from over hyped, the kid is a stud, for being over hyped that's the reason just about every school in the States wants him right? - -Kentucky seems to think he is all theirs to go with Quickley. - -Bol Bol now that's another story, he wanted out of Kansas had no desire to stay here his interest in Kansas dropped long ago - -either Arizona or Kentucky bound - - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Steve Zimmerman 5 years ago

With all due respect, Gerry.. Zion has small hands, and does not pose a threat down low, well... if he posts at all. He's hard to be found for oops. I'm pretty sure he'll elevate his game once trained well, but I still think DeSousa will compete better.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years ago

Where did you hear that he had small hands?

Zion Williamson DraftExpress Profile: ... Williamson has long arms, big hands and a strong frame to compensate for his lack of height as a big man

Gerry Butler 5 years ago

Us (KU) - landing Silvio has no impact on Zion, Zion will not shy away because of Silvio being here, the biggest thing being is they play different positions. - -Zion is a SF - & Silvio is listed as a PF - - -& as far as Bol Bol, that shipped sailed along time ago, he is on the Coast and more then likely either going to end up at Arizona OR Kentucky., we faded on him quite some time ago, no big deal. Zion is a Absolute stud, We are really heavy leans for Dotson - - Grimes - - and now we have got the commit from Silvio - -if we could land Zion which we might have better chance then some might think as he and Dotson teamed up and he said ho would like to play with Dotson maybe as a package and he is an Adidas kid. Shoe contracts speak volumes - KU is the biggest Adidas blueblood school, we land him and then maybe possibly McCormack - -HUGE recruiting class. - Feel like 90%- - 10% - We land Dotson - -& Grimes for sure to go with Silvio, just got to work on Zion and McCormack. - - ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Steve Zimmerman 5 years ago

Agreed! McCormack is another great addition if we can land him, along with Dotson...and Zion, of course!!!

Priest Fontaine 5 years ago

Hey Matt, I don't think signing Silvio will hurt our chances of getting Zion or Bol Bol. They could all play together with Bol Bol playing center and Zion playing SF and some at PF. Although I don't think we have much of a chance of signing Bol Bol from everything I've heard. Dotson, Zion, McCormack and either Langford or Grimes (to go along with Silvio) would be a killer class and seems pretty likely!

Gerry Butler 5 years ago

Seeing as how Zion and Silvio play different positions on the floor Silvio committing isn't hurting us at all.- - -Zion is listed as a SF and Silvio is listed as a PF. Some people keep talking about Bol, Bol he is not part of the equation anymore that ship sailed long ago, no big deal KU will be just fine without him, kind of soft, but agree, we are on the way to a killer class - we have the 1st piece Silvio, Dotson is a really heavy lean Florida might again might be the other school to watch out for visits there Sept 8th but feel we are in really good shape,Langford will probably land at Louisville - - But Quentin Grimes looks like we are in pretty good shape for too Dotson and Grimes would be in-real - -Grimes as a SG - -& Devon as the PG - -If we could manage to land Zion which really isn't that far of a reach, said he would like to team up with Devon plus being an Adidas kid - -Ku the same shoe school, then manage to get McCormack awesome clas. - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Tony Bandle 5 years ago

De Sousa will be "De Slammer!"

The African Pipeline continues to produce top tier talent for KU. Something tells me that the level of excellent basketball players in that continent has barely been scratched.

Tony Bandle 5 years ago

The secret of University of Kansas Basketball Recruiting is to always be yourSELF!!

Marius Rowlanski 5 years ago

Once established and as others have had success at the next level after playing at KU, the pipeline will continue to flow.

Eliott Reeder 5 years ago

Haven't even watched any highlights yet and I already love this kid. Talk about some great quotes! “When I was there in Kansas, I couldn’t even express myself or how I was feeling. When you love something, there’s no way you will describe it."

Tony Bandle 5 years ago

Let's see...2018-19 we'll have Chuckie, Silvio, the Brothers, probably Conliffe and Vick, Lightfoot and a couple of the guys from the group of recruits everybody is talking about [help me here, please].

Yep!! That's a pretty good head start!

Marius Rowlanski 5 years ago

Really wish that I could agree about Vick but he will be NBA ready at the end of the season and will likely enter the draft. Just a humble opinion Tony but with the incoming guards, we should be in great shape.

Matt Stone 5 years ago

My fear was having Lawson Brothers, Lightfoot, and possibly Billy Preston staying causes Zion or Bol Bol eliminating KU as possibility. Bol Bol still has us on his list and I know we aren't that high on it. Still concerned for frontcourt this year but excited to see how it plays out. Newman should be a stud and think Svi experience helps him mature. Garrett and Vick will open eyes too. RCJH!

Suzi Marshall 5 years ago

Fear? All that you said about possible returnees is a good thing. Unless it's somebody like Josh Jackson, I'll take a good experienced player over a OAD any day.

Harlan Hobbs 5 years ago

Love the vibes from everybody, especially the humorous ones. This should be the beginning of a banner recruiting year. It could end up being one of the best ever.

Of course, with all the hype Kentucky and Duke get, they will likely have the top rated classes, but who really cares. Coach Self's and his staff's record has worked out quite well thank you!

Marius Rowlanski 5 years ago

You got to admit that in checking out the basketball site you find a completely Golden Nugget that NOBODY could have predicted, turns out to be a really good way to start the day.

Austin Lopez 5 years ago

Dear Jayhawkers stop worrying about 5 star recruits Boi Boi and Zion, and how landing this positive young man might affect our chances to land those top 5 guys, God is going to give us the talent he wants us to have and there's nothing we can do about it, control what you can control and Kansas can't control Boi Boi and Zion looking elsewhere because of another commit if that is the case. Plus, How far has these Top 5 players/One and Done players taken us the last 10 years??? Top 10 players win you games but Juniors AND Seniors win you championships.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years ago

Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others. Buddha

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