Silvio De Sousa hasn't seen his parents in nearly a year. Thanks to the NCAA — seriously, the NCAA did something sensible — the Kansas freshman's parents can travel from Angola to San Antonio for the Final Four.
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What began as a pilot program, the NCAA's family travel program is now in its fourth season and provides $3,000 to the family of each Final Four player. An additional $1,000 is given if their team reaches the National Championship.
“At first they thought I was playing," De Sousa told the Kansas City Star this week of his conversation with his parents about the travel money. "But longer in the conversation they started to believe I was telling the truth."
The funds cover transportation, hotel and meals, and "participating schools are expected to ensure all family members receiving the funds will be in attendance at their respective game and use the funds accordingly."
For a player like De Sousa — or the five other international players in the Final Four, including two more on Kansas — the money allows a rare visit. De Sousa's teammate Udoka Azubuike, who hails from Nigeria, said his mom has never seen him play in the United States.
De Sousa, Azubuike and Kansas play Villanova in the national semifinal on Saturday night.