DeSouza Weighing Overseas Options

It seems like a lot of kids are thinking about playing professionally out of high school these days. Hatila DeSouza isn't much different than say Dwight Howard; except for the fact DeSouza's pro prospects are overseas.

Hatila DeSouza, a 6-9 power forward out of Laurinburg Institute via Brazil, could sign a high-major scholarship this spring. Then again, he might not. It's kind of complicated.

"That's one of the things that I have to explain," Institute coach Rolando DeLaBarrera said. "What I've been telling people is that he's interested in playing possibly overseas and I mean playing in Europe if the opportunity presented itself. If something like that presented itself he would be interested in that."

So far, it's been quiet on that front but the forward is in wait-and-see mode. "He has people that want to recruit him. They're interested." Georgia, South Carolina, Cincinnati and maybe even Texas are among some schools that could jump in quickly.

"He's on a lot of mailing lists. I think probably, if that European thing doesn't materialize for whatever reason, then you'll see a lot more people come April try and recruit the guy. He's one of the best ones left."

No doubt about it, DeSouza has a chance. He's got a great body which is strong and athletic. Since his arrival last December, he's tinkered with a jump shot that hasn't progressed much but he's an ace rebounder and will block shots. He runs well and probably is just scratching the surface of his ability.

Like with all international players, there's sort of a learning curve that sometimes is associated with a language barrier and that would need to be addressed but from a sheer talent standpoint, he's a high-major prospect.

DeLaBarrera says he'll be OK academically. "I don't think it' going to be a problem because of the sliding scale. He doesn't have to hit 1,000 on the SAT. He's got a strong GPA and that will make the SAT lower than previously required."

Teams have been slow to come in and see DeSouza, largely due to the indecision about his future. This scenario will play out in the coming weeks and once the NCAA Tournament concludes and some questions about his prospects overseas are answered, we'll have a better feel for his future.

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