DeMarcus Cousins was back in Sacramento to host his yearly basketball camp. As you may know, he was traded from the Sacramento Kings to the New Orleans Pelicans this past basketball season. I've always had a great relationship with DeMarcus and his managers/agents. It was an honor to be asked to cover his return this summer as I've definitely missed the big guy since his departure. DeMarcus was all smiles as he walked into the gym, it was a sweet reunion for many of the people in attendance.
The youth invited to this camp would be receiving the best in terms of coaching. Just like with Arik Armstead's camp, everyone here was completely dedicated to making sure the kids got a quality experience. I've seen many of these coaches from the previous years of DeMarcus' camp. I'm always astounded by the level of commitment they have for these kids. Some of the coaches in attendance have connections to higher level basketball camps and would be scouting talent here. It was important for the kids to do their absolute best to get noticed.
The expectation when coming to this camp is to work your hardest and to do your best. Nothing less than that is accepted. As I was taking photos, I could feel the energy in the gym. The kids had many activities throughout the day from working on offensive skills like passing and shooting to defensive stances like the one shown above.
DeMarcus didn't let the coaches do everything themselves. He took on the task of engaging with the kids and working with them so that they could get better. The ultimate challenge for the kids would be to take DeMarcus on one-on-one. Only a few of the campers got this opportunity. But wow! Wouldn't it be amazing to have the chance to take on an NBA All-Star? That would be something to remember!
The gym was hot as the summer heat got the facilities cooking. Thankfully, everyone got regular breaks in the action to hydrate themselves. Water, Gatorade, and energy snacks were plentiful so that anyone who needed them could easily get them. Things like this are a crucial detail that cannot be overlooked. The organizers of the camp were prepared for whatever the campers needed.
Towards the end of camp DeMarcus sat down for a question and answer session. There were many hands up as the kids had a ton of questions they wanted answers to. DeMarcus was patient and open in his answers to the campers. I hope that the kids take to heart what DeMarcus had to say. He shared his struggles as a student and encouraged the campers to take school seriously.
DeMarcus was also presented with a letter of from the city thanking him for his service to the community. In it was listed all that DeMarcus had done up to this point - and it was a long list! He certainly deserves some recognition for his efforts off the court as they are many. This kind of stuff always gets overshadowed by game actions and stories, but they really shouldn't. I can attest to DeMarcus' huge heart for people.
As the kids left they each got a sweet bag full of goodies from DeMarcus. It was a nice little reward for a day of hard work.
For this event I used both the Canon 7d mark ii, 5d mark iii, and the Sony a9.