Kansas basketball’s Silvio De Sousa is a talented big man, and has had one of the most tumultuous college careers in recent memory. Today, he announced his status for the upcoming season.
De Sousa is the first Kansas Jayhawk to opt out for the year, which is set to start on Nov. 25. He cites undisclosed personal issues in making the call. He does not mention COVID-19 as a factor.
“I have made the difficult decision to opt out of this season to focus all my energies on some personal issues,” De Sousa wrote in a statement. ” I have a lot of things weighing on my mind and need to address these by taking time for myself and stepping away from basketball.”
De Sousa appeared in 18 games for Kansas basketball last season, averaging 2.6 points and 2.8 rebounds, primarily off the bench for Bill Self’s team.
Isaiah 41:10🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/TOJA772bbx
— Silvio De Sousa ™ (@SilvioDeSousa5) October 16, 2020
It is unclear if De Sousa will return for what would be his fifth year in Lawrence. He addressed that question in the statement:
“I do not know what my next plan will be right now, but I will decide that when the time is right. This was not an easy decision to leave the basketball program, but it’s the best thing for me to do right now. Thank you to all of my coaches and teammates for always having my back. You will always be my brothers for life. Jayhawk nation, thank you for welcoming me and supporting me through the ups and downs. It has been very tough for me at times but you all have meant so much to me.”
Per 247Sports, Bill Self said that De Sousa informed him of the decision today:
“Knowing Silvio, it was clear he had been distracted and not fully focused during workouts as of late,” Self said. “After he and I sat down and talked about that, it was clear this was the best decision for him, and Kansas basketball, to leave the program. At some point in the future, Silvio will decide what his next steps will be and where that will take him. …
“Silvio has worked very hard during his time here and we have stood by him throughout, but we fully understand his reasoning to take time away from basketball. We support his decision and wish him nothing but success moving forward.”
De Sousa joined the program in the middle of the 2017-18 season, making his debut in January 2018 after receiving immediate eligibility after enrolling at the school. He missed the following season, getting caught up in the adidas scandal that the Kansas basketball program is still dealing with. He eventually earned a waiver to return to college basketball ahead of last season, after a long, winding process with the NCAA.