DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Jalen Wilson is a sophomore at the University of Kansas who is living out his wildest basketball dreams. The pinnacle of that experience came this past weekend in Fort Worth — less than an hour from where he grew up, in front of his two biggest fans.
Jalen’s mother, Lisa Wilson, said, “He’s always going to be my baby, no matter how old he is. So, it’s so awesome.”
“It still amazes me that I see my baby in a Kansas uniform,” Jalen’s father, Derale Wilson, admitted. “Growing up as a child, as a kid, if you get to Kansas you know you’ve made it. And it’s so surreal when I look out there and I see my baby.”
Growing up in Denton, Jalen was born to “Hoop it Up”. Not only was his dad a key player on the TCU team in the late 90’s, his mom had her own distinguished basketball career — playing on the college level in Oklahoma.
Asked if they constantly give Jalen coaching advice, both say it’s a must… and there’s no way for him to run from it.
Lisa said, “It’s one of those things where he understands and respects what we say.”
A model of consistency, Jalen wore No. 10 when he rose to new heights at Denton Guyer High School. And he wears No. 10 to this day.
You could also give him a perfect 10 when it comes to never letting the moment overwhelm him. During a post-game press conference, after the Jayhawks 2nd round win Saturday, Jalen said, “Just coming in and having to play our same type of game and even though teams adjust we’re still gonna stick to what we do best.”
Next up, Friday night, a date in the Sweet 16. Jalen and the Kansas team will face-off against Providence in Chicago.
Because it’s a family affair, Jalen’s parents will be there. Lisa says, “Sitting in the stands and knowing you’re helpless… it brings on so much more anxiety.” Laughingly she said, “I think I’m gonna need some medication in Chicago.”
With as many trophies as Jalen racked up as a kid in Denton, add four more wins for him and his Kansas teammates and the magical journey will be complete.
When asked how they’ll react if Kansas wins the championship, Lisa said, “Don’t get the camera on me. The mascara will be running.” Dad wasn’t afraid to admit the same. Derale promised, “I will be crying. Don’t get it twisted. I will be crying.”