DeMarcus Cousins was born on August 13, 1991 in Birmingham, Alabama but ended up moving to Mobile, Alabama to play for LeFlore High School. In his senior year (2008-2009) he averaged 24.1 points, 13.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 3.2 blocks per game. DeMarcus lead LeFlore to the Alabama state championship where they eventually fell to future college teammate and best friend, Eric Bledsoe and the Parker High School Thundering Herd. DeMarcus was named Parade All-American and played in the 2009 McDonalds All-American Game where he tallied 14 points on 6-9 shooting along with 8 rebounds in 17 minutes. DeMarcus also participated in the Jordan Brand Classic All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden, totaling 17 points and 7 rebounds. Heading into college, DeMarcus was the second best recruit in the country and No. 1 forward by Rivals.com.
On April 7, 2009 DeMarcus committed to the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. Under head coach John Calipari, DeMarcus averaged 15.1 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game. DeMarcus led the Wildcats to the Elite Eight of the 2010 NCAA Tournament where they fell to West Virginia 73-66. DeMarcus was named SEC freshman of the year, was placed on First Team All-SEC and Associated Press First Team.
DeMarcus decided to forgo his final three season of college eligibility and entered the 2010 NBA Draft. DeMarcus was selected 5th overall by the Sacramento Kings. DeMarcus was one of a record five players selected in the first round from the same university, including John Wall (No. 1 overall), Patrick Patterson (No. 14 overall), Eric Bledsoe (No. 18 overall), and Daniel Orton (No. 29 overall) in 2010 NBA Draft. DeMarcus was named to the 2010-2011 T-Mobile NBA All Rookie First Team after averaging 14.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.05 steals per game. DeMarcus set a new Sacramento-era rookie record for total rebounds in a season (699) and became first Kings rookie in Sacramento era to lead team in rebounds per game since Lionel Simmons. DeMarcus set a Sacramento-era record for most consecutive double-doubles with 15 on January 21, 2014 surpassing the previous set of 13 by LaSalle Thompson. DeMarcus was named to the 2014-2016 USA Basketball Mens Roster in January 2014. On September 30, 2013, DeMarcus signed a four-year, $62 million contract extension with the Kings. After signing the contract, DeMarcus announced he would donate $1 million of his salary to the families and community of Sacramento over the next 4 years.