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Kansas officials working to help Udoka Azubuike’s mother receive travel visa


in the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Midwest Regional at CenturyLink Center on March 25, 2018 in Omaha, Nebraska.

Jamie Squire

Three-plus years ago, the NCAA made the move to help families of players participating in the Final Four with expenses. A stipend of up to $3,000 is available in order to assist with flights, hotels and meals for family members of players taking part in Saturday’s national semifinals. That dollar amount increases to $4,000 for the parents of players whose teams advance to Monday’s championship game.

In the case of players from foreign countries the travel process can be a bit more difficult, as is the case for Kansas sophomore center Udoka Azubuike. A native of Nigeria, Azubuike’s mother has never seen him play in person during his time at Kansas. According to the Kansas City Star, Kansas head coach Bill Self said Tuesday that the school is working to address some visa complications in order to make it possible for Azubuike’s mother to get to San Antonio.

“Our staff is talking with all the proper political people to try to make something like that happen because we know how much that would mean to Udoka and his mother to be able to witness — can you imagine a parent coming over here who has never seen a basketball game, a real basketball game like this, and that’s the first time you see your son play? That would be just an unbelievable experience. We’re hoping that’s the case,” Self said.

According to Jesse Newell of the Kansas City Star, Kansas congressman Kevin Yoder is among the officials working to get Azubuike’s mother a non-immigrant travel visa in time for Saturday’s game.