DeMarcus Cousins was a big supporter of high school athletics in Sacramento during his time with the Kings in both public and not-so-public ways.
He has attended a number of Grant High football and basketball games. At football games, he generally stood behind the end zone in order to not attract attention but signed autographs and posed for photos with those who asked.
“That was me not too long ago, a high school kid trying to figure out life,” he told The Sacramento Bee several years ago.
Cousins was selected to the American Family Insurance ALL-USA first team in 2009 at Leflore High in Mobile (Ala.).
Cousins also helped pay for the funeral expenses of slain Grant football player Jaulon “J.J.” Clavo, who was shot and killed hours before a game in November 2015. He wrote “RIP JJ” on his sneakers for the next game. Cousins had wanted the donation to remain anonymous but work leaked.
“It touched me. I’m a parent myself and I couldn’t imagine losing one of my kids,” he said then. “It wasn’t really about me, it was about the family, about the kid. … I was just playing my part. Specific areas I like to reach out to because at one point in time I was one of those kids. I didn’t have a lot of opportunities. … I know exactly what those kids are going through. I’m just a testimony that you can believe in yourself, you can do things. Don’t become another statistic. Believe in yourself. Dream big. Anything is possible.”
In response to the trade, the basketball team at Grant posted a brief video to say thank you for his part with the Kings and in the community.