CONWAY, Ark. — Central Arkansas big man Eddy Kayouloud has had no simple journey as a Division 1 college basketball starter, and not just figuratively speaking.

The France native left home at age 12 to play for his national team. Kayouloud would compete in the U-17 world championship before moving to the states to play high school ball at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. Now a 5th-year senior at 23 years old, the 6’7″ forward has spent his entire collegiate career at UCA and has surpassed 1,500 total points with the team.

In all his years playing in America, Eddy’s mother Lucie has been in Europe and unable to watch her son in-person. That changed this week as Lucie made the long trip to Conway to watch Eddy’s final two games as a Bear, Wednesday vs Jacksonville State and Friday vs Kennesaw State.

“It’s been a big sacrifice for her and she’s been so supportive,” Kayouloud told FOX16’s Nick Walters before Wednesday night’s game. “She’s the best mom I could ever wish for.”

“When he would come back on holidays in France he would just play against his friend, but not against other teams,” Lucie said at halftime. “It is a pleasure for me to see him playing.”

Kayouloud grew up with basketball in the household. His father was a coach, his two older brothers played the game, so he began playing as early as age 6. His mother has been a rock through Eddy’s global travel pursuing his dreams. And Lucie likes to keep her advice simple.

“She doesn’t know much about basketball,” Eddy said smiling. “She just told me you better play well for your last two games because I’m going to be watching you.”

“Here on campus you have it all,” Lucie said. “School, and you can do sports while not having to move away. It is all in the same place. I was really happy about that. America gives him the opportunity to realize his dreams.”

UCA fell to Jacksonville State 101-71 on Wednesday. The Bears will hope to cap off their season with a win over Kennesaw State on Friday night and send Lucie back home on a winning note.