Kansas sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa will not attend the NBA G League Elite Camp after all, KU coach Bill Self confirmed to The Star on Monday.
Self did not give further details, saying he did not know the reason for the change of plans at this time.
It had been reported (and confirmed by Self and De Sousa’s guardian, Fenny Falmagne) on April 29 that De Sousa, who entered his name in the 2019 NBA Draft on April 19, would be attending the G League Combine May 12-14 in Chicago.
On the same day it was reported KU’s Quentin Grimes, Devon Dotson and Dedric Lawson had received invitations to the NBA Combine May 15-19 in Chicago.
De Sousa said on April 19 he entered the draft in case his ongoing appeal with the NCAA regarding his eligibility was denied. He said he’d return to KU for the 2019-20 season if allowed to play in games, but keep his name in the draft if the appeal was denied.
The NBA G League on Monday officially revealed the names of those who will be attending the three-day scouting event: 40 2019 draft hopefuls and 40 players who competed in the G League last season.
It is not known if De Sousa’s decision to not attend the G League Elite Camp has anything to do with his appeal for eligibility with the NCAA.
KU on April 18 formally submitted an appeal of the NCAA’s ruling that declared the 6-9 forward from Angola ineligible through the 2019-20 season. KU is awaiting results of the appeal. KU officials in the past have expressed confidence that De Sousa will regain his eligibility for the coming season.
The NCAA announced on Feb. 2 that De Sousa would have to sit out the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons “because his guardian received payment from a university booster and agent and agreed to receive additional funds from the same person.”
During a federal trial regarding corruption into college basketball last fall, former Adidas representative T.J. Gassnola testified that, sometime before January 2018, he overnighted a $2,500 payment to De Sousa’s legal guardian, Falmagne. Gassnola said he sent the money in an envelope inside a magazine, so De Sousa could pay for online classes.
The NCAA said in a release that “according to the facts provided for purposes of the reinstatement request (that KU made after declaring De Sousa ineligible), De Sousa’s guardian received payment of $2,500 from an agent and booster of the school. He agreed to accept additional payment of $20,000 from the same individual and an Adidas employee for securing De Sousa’s enrollment at Kansas.”
Falmagne acknowledged receiving money in the mail, telling The Star he donated it to charity. He said there was no talk of accepting $20,000.
Falmagne was not available for comment on Monday regarding De Sousa skipping the combine.
The list of draft eligible players at the G League camp includes Iowa State’s Lindell Wigginton and Marial Shayok and West Virginia’s Sagaba Konate.
“We’re thrilled to introduce the NBA G League Elite Camp as an essential addition to our comprehensive evaluation process of potential NBA and NBA G League talent,” said NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim. “This event will provide more players with exposure as they enter the next phase of their careers.”
KU women add two coaches
KU women’s basketball coach Brandon Schneider on Monday added Larry Tidwell as associate head coach and Jhasmin Player as an assistant coach to his complete his coaching staff. Tidwell and Player fill vacancies left by Aqua Franklin and Jory Collins, who accepted head coaching positions at Lamar and North Dakota State last week.
Tidwell spent the 2018-19 season at Texas Tech and the five years previous as the head coach at UT-Rio Grande Valley.
Player spent the 2018-19 season as an assistant at Loyola Marymount. During her year at LMU, Player helped the Lions return to postseason play for the first time since 2001 after LMU was selected for the 2019 WNIT.
Before coming to LMU, Player spent two seasons at Maine where she worked as director of operations, assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.
Hampton ranked No. 6 in 2019
R.J. Hampton, a 6-5 senior guard from Little Elm (Texas) High School, who recently announced plans to switch from the recruiting Class of 2020 to 2019, on Monday was ranked No. 6 in the Class of 2019 by Rivals.com. He had been the No. 5 rated player in the Class of 2020. Hampton has a list of KU, Memphis, Kentucky and Texas Tech.