In an exciting piece of news, USA Basketball announced its 28-player pool for the next few years as the team prepares for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, and Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins made the cut.
Cousins was by no means a guarantee to make the cut, as while he's played with Team USA the last couple of summers, he hasn't exactly gotten glowing reviews. There was also the much publicized incident with Jerry Colangelo.
Cousins joins Tyson Chandler, Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard, Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Andre Drummond, Kenneth Faried, Blake Griffin and David Lee as the other big men on the roster.
Whether Cousins makes the 12 man squads for 2014 or 2016, it will still be an invaluable experience for him to be hanging out and practicing with the NBA's best and learning from a great core of coaches. Cousins has grown a lot as a player this season under Coach Michael Malone, blossoming into one of the league's best young big men and the Kings clear-cut franchise player.
Congratulations DeMarcus. Hopefully next up on his list of growing accolades is a trip to the 2014 NBA All-Star game.
UPDATE: Jonathan Abrams of Grantland wrote an amazing piece on DeMarcus Cousins and how he's trying to become a leader. It features interviews with his mother, Keith Smart and Mike Malone. I highly recommend it.