Thursday December 24th, 2015

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is giving back during the holiday season and beyond.

Cousins opened up to Yahoo Sports about his “Santa Cuz” personality, the persona Cousins dons around the holidays to give back to those in need. Cousins recently took 100 underprivileged kids on a shopping spree, giving each a $200 gift card to buy presents for themselves and their families.

“My memories of Christmas, it was more about being around family,” Cousins told Yahoo Sports. “We weren’t the most fortunate family growing up. My mom did what she could and I was grateful for whatever it was. … At Christmas you were hoping for this and that. At the same time, as a kid I knew what our situation was. I understood.

“You’d go back to school and your friends would say, ‘What you get for Christmas?’ You got to make up a lie. ‘I got this, this and this.’ It’s all part of growing up and everyone has a different story. It made me who I am today. I know what it’s like.”

Cousins has been giving back around the holidays for four years, even dressing himself up like Santa Claus during some of his charity endeavors. The All-Star center has also been giving back to the community throughout the year, surprising a family with a car earlier in December and paying for the expenses of a funeral for a slain teenager in November.

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