Sacramento Police fatally shot and killed 22-year-old Stephon Clark in his grandmother’s backyard the night of March 18. The officers believed Clark was a suspect of an armed robbery, but investigators found no weapon on the scene, just the man’s cell phone. The death of the father of two has outraged many in the city of Sacramento and the entire country. Protests have been frequent throughout Sacramento since news broke of the shooting. A former Sacramento sports star has volunteered to aid Clark’s family and the community affected in Sacramento.
DeMarcus Cousins has been arguably the best center in the NBA the past few seasons, but last season he was traded from the Sacramento Kings, the team he had played for his entire career, to the New Orleans Pelicans. Cousins was likely traded due to his “attitude and immaturity” issues, as he has led the league in technical fouls two of the last three seasons and seemed to have a habit of being unfriendly to officials and unnecessarily physical with opposing players.
While his short fuse and aggressive nature have drawn many critics of Cousins, none can deny his talent on the basketball court. He has the strength to drive through any opponent and take the ball to the rim, while still having the skill and versatility to score anywhere on the floor. Cousins’ vision and passing ability as a big man is highly underrated and quietly ends most games with impressive rebounding numbers.
This season was on track to be his best as in his first full season in New Orleans. He had been voted as an All-Star starter for the first time in his career and he was on pace to make the playoffs for the first time in his career. His great season unfortunately came to an end January 26 when he tore his Achilles at the end of a victory against the Houston Rockets.
The Sacramento Bee reported a few days after the death of Stephon Clark that former Sacramento Kings players DeMarcus Cousins and Matt Barnes had reached out to Clark’s family and offered to pay for the funeral expenses. The two NBA players were not the only ones interested in helping out the family, as the GoFundMe page set up for the funeral expenses has raised over $83,000 of their $50,000 goal. Clark’s funeral was held March 29 in Sacramento, where Reverend Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy.
This is unfortunately a familiar gesture for DeMarcus Cousins. In 2015, Cousins paid for the funeral expenses for Jaulon Clavo, a high school football player in Sacramento who was fatally shot while driving to get food before their home game November 13.
Photo courtesy of Basketinside.com