DeMarcus Cousins, Olympic gold medalist. That has a nice ring to it.
It seems likes yesterday that the Sacramento Kings star center was almost run out of the USA Men’s Basketball program and now he will play for a gold medal in Rio this summer.
“I believe this is a huge moment in my career,” Cousins told Team USA. “This is something I’ve worked for a long time. I’ve been in the USA system for a while now and I finally get my chance to play on one of the biggest stages.”
Cousins, 25, was hidden in the back row with the rest of the bigs when Team USA was officially announced on Monday. He will join a star-studded cast of players looking to bring home the ultimate prize.
While some of the biggest names in the game have dropped out of the running for both personal and potential safety reasons, Cousins has never wavered in his commitment to the program or the games. He has a golden opportunity to play a major role with the team and he has a good idea of what it will take to bring home the hardware in August.
“Sacrifice, that’s the biggest thing,” Cousins said. “All of us coming in with one goal in mind, which is winning a gold medal for our country. It’s not about the individual, it’s about the team as a whole.”
Cousins underwent shock wave treatments earlier in the summer to alleviate tendinitis in his feet in preparation for the games. He showed up to his youth camp in Sacramento last week in incredible shape, down nearly 20 pounds from his playing weight last season.
Here is the roster that will join Cousins and compete for the gold in Rio next month: