DENTON, Texas — It’s hard to put into words what it’s like to watch your son compete on a national stage.
“Imagine the best dream you have and you're not waking up from it. That's what this is right now,” Derale Wilson, Jalen Wilson's dad said.
Derale and Lisa Wilson made the trip to New Orleans to watch their son play for Kansas.
The Jayhawks take on the University of North Carolina Tar Heels in the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship Game on Monday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. CST.
“I'm still pinching myself honestly,” Lisa Wilson said. “From walking around on Bourbon Street, to enjoying family time and winning our game the other night and now being in the championship, it’s been amazing.”
Jalen Wilson starred at Guyer High School in Denton before heading to Kansas in 2019. The Wilsons told WFAA their son has wanted to attend KU since 2nd grade.
Basketball talent does run in the Wilson family: Derale Wilson played at TCU, and Lisa Wilson played college ball in Oklahoma. Both of their parents played high-level basketball, too.
The Wilsons know the Jayhawks are ready for the championship game.
“They've been on this high since winning the Big 12 tournament, and their confidence has been on a whole other level,” Lisa Wilson said. “I feel they're definitely ready.”
Back at home, the North Texas community will be watching. Bars like Eastside in Denton spent Monday afternoon gearing up to host Kansas fans, cheering on the hometown kid.
“Every game’s good for business, but we’re just happy we can give people a nice place to party responsibly and have fun,” Eastside’s Matthew Rowland said.