Ranked No. 18 nationally by Rivals.com, No. 28 by ESPN100 and No. 31 by the 247Sports.com national rankings, De Sousa plays for IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. The 6-foot-9, 245-point Luanda, Angola, native has been living in Florida for nearly four years.
“He has great size for a true four-type man,” Self said. “He’s very explosive and at one time, a couple years ago, was rated a top-five player in his class. Not participating in the summer grass roots stuff as much over the past year, his rankings have dropped a little bit, but we feel like he’s a top-five talent.”
Last season, De Sousa averaged 13.0 points and a 7.0 rebounds for IMG Academy and shot 61 percent from the floor. IMG went 28-2 and lost in the quarterfinals of the Dick’s High School National Championship.
This past summer, De Sousa represented Angola in the FIBA AfroBasket 2017 in Tunis, Tunisia, where his team advanced to the quarterfinals and he led Angola with 17.0 points and 13.0 rebounds per game and shot 51 percent from the field. Prior to his FIBA competition, De Sousa averaged 20.5 points and 8.2 rebounds for his AAU team, the Florida Vipers this past summer. In 2016, De Sousa was named the most valuable player of the FIBA Africa Championship.
“Coach (Kurtis) Townsend has been the point man on recruiting Silvio,” Self said. “He’s a guy who can provide immediate help the first day he steps on campus. He plays hard and goes after the ball, which reminds me of Markieff (Morris) when he first got to Kansas. He’s a guy who can give you points and rebounds early in his career and we feel he has the potential to become a good perimeter shooter.”
De Sousa joins a lineage of Jayhawks from Africa since 2014.
“It is kind of strange that we went through a period of time that we didn’t recruit very many international guys,” Self said. “And here of late, from Joel (Embiid) to Cheick (Diallo) to Udoka (Azubuike) and now to Silvio, we’ve gotten four players from the continent of Africa in the last five years.”