Update on Silvio De Sousa’s KU basketball eligibility, football player’s walk-on tryout

IMG Academy’s Silvio De Sousa is not yet eligible to play at KU next semester. | Gregory Payan | AP

By Gary Bedore gbedore@kcstar.com

KU basketball signee Silvio De Sousa, a 6-foot-9 senior forward from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., still has some work to do before he can be ruled eligible to play in second semester games for the Jayhawks.

De Sousa on Saturday will take a standardized test for a final time this semester and needs to improve his score, which will be matched with his performance in core courses to see if he’s eligible.

If not eligible to play in games, De Sousa might not enroll at KU until June.

That’s because if he arrives in December and can’t play in games, he would not be eligible to play in games until second semester of the 2018-19 season. If he stays at IMG or heads to junior college, he’d be eligible at the start of next season.

Sosinski tryout continues

Jayhawks coach Bill Self said KU football tight end James Sosinski, a 6-7, 260-pound sophomore from Chandler, Ariz., would practice with the team Thursday and Friday and into next week to see if there’s a spot for him as a walk-on forward.

He played for South Mountain Community College last season, averaging 19.1 points and 12.6 rebounds as a freshman.

“This is no disrespect to James, but if he’s a guy that we have to rely on to help us, that doesn’t seem real good. So we’re looking at him as a practice guy that can come in and be a big body in practice,” Self said. “We haven’t even completed the tryout yet. I’m going to let him practice the next two days. We’ll decide next week if we want to keep moving forward with it. He seems like a really nice kid.

“This is not a strategic move to add depth when you go on the road and play. That’s not it at all. We’re looking at it as a practice-type thing. If he can get to the point, maybe a minute or two here or there, I guess that’s possible. It would be no different than putting Clay (Young) in or Chris (Teahan), something like that.”

Self said KU assistant Norm Roberts saw Sosinski’s dad at a KU football game.

“He said something: ‘You know my son averaged 19 and 11, whatever, in juco last year. Norm told me about it. I called David (Beaty, KU football coach). David was great. He was totally open to him coming out and doing that,” Self said, noting he once had a football player, Walter Young, join one of his Illinois basketball teams when the squad needed some inside help.

KU sophomore Mitch Lightfoot, who is from Gilbert, Ariz., has known Arizona native Sosinski for several years.

“I played with James back in club (basketball) in Arizona a couple games. He was on the team ahead of me,” Lightfoot said. “I played on a team with him in Canada in an event. We’ve been friends ever since. He’s a big guy, a good dude, physically a fire-hydrant kind of guy. It’ll be good to help ‘Doke’ (Udoka Azubuike). He’s more of a presence. He’s a big dude, definitely not a pushover. James may not be as tall, but he’s strong.”

Lightfoot added: “It’s cool to see one of my friends on the football field come out here trying to do something he loved (basketball). From our team perspective it’s good for us. We’ll see what coach decides and we’ll go from there.”

Gary Bedore: 816-234-4068, @garybedore

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