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KU player hopes mother can get from Nigeria to the Final Four

Posted at 8:06 PM, Mar 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-28 21:31:06-04

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- He's a key member of the Kansas Jayhawks and as he arrived for the Final Four, his mind was likely also in Nigeria.

Kansas sophomore center Udoka Azubuike is from Delta, Nigeria and as of Wednesday night in the United States, the question of whether his mother will be able to attend the Final Four remained unanswered.

In the lobby of the team hotel Wednesday, head coach Bill Self said his mother will fly to a city in Nigeria on Thursday morning to apply for a Visa. He said if that interview goes well, she will be on a plane Thursday night.

"He lit up like a Christmas tree whenever he was talking to her and the reality that this could happen," said Self of his star player.

"Can you imagine somebody coming from Nigeria that's never seen him play basketball and then walking into the Alamodome with 70,000 people," Self added. "It will just be a great experience for them."

Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder is also working to help secure a Visa for Azubuike's mother.

As for the team, Self said their focus is good.

"Considering two days off, their effort was good and their attitude was good. But how could you have a bad attitude right now?" Self said.

Even with a good attitude, three weeks of tournament play and all the responsibilities that come with it, can take its toll on any team.

"I think this is the most exhausting week for a player in the year. Because look at all the responsibilities they have," Self said. "So whenever you are not doing it, you need to be off your feet. You need to be asleep. You need to be listening to music and in our guys' case, studying."

On Saturday against Villanova, Kansas will compete in it's 15th Final Four. While that's quite an accomplishment, Self said they want more. 

"Somebody asked me yesterday, 'they'll be remembered for forever for making a Final Four?' I said no they won't," said Self. "You are remembered forever if you win it."