Before being an NBA star, DeMarcus Cousins was just a student at LeFlore High School in Alabama. The young center was a standout high school prospect that was enjoying playing with his teammates.
One night, on the way home from a game, he and his friends exited the car they left in at a friends’ house and were immediately approached by a couple of police officers.
The officers had rifles trained on the young boys and the two-time All-Star says that he remembers being scared for his life.
He told ESPN: “The only reasons we were good was because we were wearing our school hoodies that read, LeFlore High School. ‘Sir we are just leaving our high school game.’ ‘What’s your name?’ ‘I’m DeMarcus Cousins.’”
Answering in such a calm and collected fashion is not something that everyone would think to do in such a scary situation. Boogie has been regarded as having a bit of a temper during his earlier NBA career.
His response in this incident shows that maybe he has been miscast or at least observers have taken the moments where he lost his cool more seriously than they should have.
The former Kentucky Wildcat is now seven years removed from the incident and he doesn’t appear bitter about that encounter at all. A big reason for his current outlook on shooting deaths of African-Americans by police in America is his relationship with a Mobile police officer.
Reflecting on those conversations, the Kings’ center said: “He told me the truth, which I respect. The truth is there are good and bad. We know that. That’s the case in a lot of situations. It’s not just with [policemen]. It’s throughout the world.”
Cousins has developed a keen sense of perspective surrounding these issues after such a traumatic experience. He now has a chance to unite his home country by representing them in the Rio Olympics.
The big man understands that the United States could use some unity right now.