By MATT WHITFIELD
HYATTSVILLE, Md. — Silvio De Sousa exploded onto the scene as a freshman at Montverde (FL) Academy and turned many heads.
Now, two years later De Sousa is having another great season — at Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy.
The 6-foot-9 De Sousa is a physical power forward reminiscent physically of Derrick Favors. He is solid inside the paint but needs to work on his jump shot. He is far from a finished product, but with his size and strength he has explosive potential.
“So far it’s been pretty good at IMG…..I think I had my best year my freshman year at Montverde but so far I’m having a great junior year at IMG,” he said last weekend at the National High School Hoops Festival at DeMatha Catholic. “It’s been pretty good. I have a lot more time to work on my stuff, so I’m liking it.”
De Sousa said he moved to the U.S. from Angola in January 2015. He has been playing basketball since he was 9. Physically, he is a man among boys on the court but he still has a few things to work on for the next level.
“Right now I think my inside game is pretty good and my post moves are pretty good,” he said. “All I need to work on is my handle, my jump shooting and other stuff.”
De Sousa naturally has garnered a ton of interest from coaches at the high-major level.
“During the preseason there were a lot of coaches from college,” he said. “I have a lot of coaches looking at me. I just got to keep up the hard work and [good] things will happen.”
De Sousa mentioned there are several schools working harder then others.
“Louisville, North Carolina, Maryland,” De Sousa said.
“The coach of Maryland is actually here,” De Sousa added as Mark Turgeon attended the event on Saturday and Sunday to watch him.
Kentucky is not out of the picture, either, as De Sousa later added that one of the toughest teams to beat in recruiting is doing a solid job.
“They’ve been pretty good [at recruiting me, too] just as Louisville and those other colleges,” said De Sousa.
For now De Sousa is in the gym most mornings working on his shot to mimic his heroes.
“I want to have a game like LeBron James,” he said. “I think it’s something that is possible for me with my body and other stuff.”