Kansas forward Silvio de Sousa opting out of upcoming season

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Kansas forward Silvio de Sousa walks out of the crowd after a brawl during the second half of a January game against Kansas State
Photo from Orlin Wagner

Kansas forward Silvio de Sousa is opting out of the upcoming college basketball season

De Sousa announced in a social media post Friday afternoon. The 6-foot-9, 245-pound native of Luanda, Angola, added that he will be stepping away from the sport entirely to focus all of his energy on those matters.

De Sousa joined the team midway through the 2017-18 season, a key contributor in that team’s Big 12 tournament victory and its run to the Final Four. However, that offseason, during the trial of three individuals in the federal government’s probe of illicit payments in college basketball recruiting, De Sousa’s own path to Kansas was brought into question — legal documents and testimony implicated his guardian, Fenny Falmagne, of accepting under-the-table funds to steer De Sousa to the Adidas-partnered Jayhawks.

Kansas head coach Bill Self said De Sousa informed him of his decision Friday.

“Knowing Silvio, it was clear he had been distracted and not fully focused during workouts as of late,” Self said in a statement. “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.”