March 22, 2007

Cousins learning to live in fishbowl

The fishbowl DeMarcus Cousins lives in gets bigger by the day, he says. The five-star sophomore from Birmingham, Ala., is starting to realize that.

A year ago, few outside of his Erwin High School knew who he was. Now, at a commanding 6-feet-9, 235-pounds, Cousins is a familiar face on the basketball circuit and more so in his own community.

"I really started getting more attention and me being so young, I had to get used to it," Cousins said. "I'm trying to develop myself to get used to it. I can't even walk into the store and get the milk without someone saying, 'Oh, you're DeMarcus Cousins.'"

People are saying that to him, most of the time not to him but about him, before games. The outcome during the high school year received mixed reviews. Paired against Derrick Favors at the Peach State Classic, Favors unofficially won the battle of the big men.

Cousins didn't finish the year with his Erwin team because of what he called a "bad situation." His focus is now set on getting back to the level he was at last summer, where he climbed to the top spot in the class of 2009 rankings from Rivals.com.

Last weekend, he helped pilot his Birmingham Storm team to the championship of the Southern Shootout. The opposing coach in the championship game said: "He looked every bit of the number one player in the country. We threw everything at him."


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