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BASKETBALL/Boogie returns to Taiwan to finish off regular and post-season with Leopards

04/17/2024 04:29 PM
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Former NBA player DeMarcus Cousins is pictured at his first T1 LEAGUE game in Taoyuan on Jan. 20, 2024. CNA file photo
Former NBA player DeMarcus Cousins is pictured at his first T1 LEAGUE game in Taoyuan on Jan. 20, 2024. CNA file photo

Taipei, April 17 (CNA) Four-time NBA all-star DeMarcus Cousins arrived in Taiwan early Wednesday to finish out his renewed contract with the Taiwan Beer Leopards in the T1 LEAGUE.

The former NBA baller, nicknamed "Boogie," initially played a four-game contract with the Leopards in January this year.

On March 18, the Taoyuan-based team announced that Cousins had officially renewed his contract, leading to his return Wednesday.

"Hi what's up Leopard fans, I'm back. I'm excited to be back and can't wait to join the team," Cousins said in a video published on the Leopard's Facebook.

"Most of all, can't wait to see you guys, the fans, next weekend. So make sure you come out and support the Beer Leopards," he said.

Former NBA player DeMarcus Cousins (in white) plays in his T1 LEAGUE game on Jan. 20, 2024. CNA file photo
Former NBA player DeMarcus Cousins (in white) plays in his T1 LEAGUE game on Jan. 20, 2024. CNA file photo

The Leopards announced that as well as Cousins playing in all three of the remaining regular season games, he will also finish the postseason games with the team.

Fans will see Boogie don his Leopards jersey over the weekend for two home games at the Taoyuan Arena when the team faces off against Taipei Taishin Mars.

Unlike his previous home game contracts, Taiwanese basketball fans will have a chance to see Cousins play across the island. His first away game will be against the Kaohsiung Aquas, the Leopard's final game of the regular season, which will be played at the Kaohsiung Fengshan Stadium on April 28.

The Taoyuan team has consecutively won all four of their last games and their overall record this season is 16 wins and 9 losses. This puts them second only to New Taipei CTBC DEA whose 23-24 season record currently stands at 17 wins and 9 losses.

"Honestly I'm just excited to be back with the team," Boogie said.

"I'm excited to be back with my Beer Leopards teammates and to have the camaraderie once again playing the style of basketball where we all enjoy being on the floor. We have fun playing with one another. So I look forward to that more than anything."

The former NBA star is being accompanied by his family on his second stay in Taiwan. They all arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Wednesday.

Boogie said he was convinced by Leopards CEO Johnny Chang (張建偉) to bring his family out so they could all enjoy Taiwan this time around.

Cousins added that he is excited to be able to take his family all over the island and show them the best of what Taiwan has to offer.

"We'll explore Taiwan as much as we can," he said. "Obviously we're gonna have to go out there and do something because my kids are really really active and full of energy so they are always looking for new activities."

The former NBA star also expressed care following the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit Taiwan on April 3, saying that he had contacted the team on the day of the temblor.

Boogie went on to say that the incident was heartbreaking, adding that he hopes the lives of all those affected soon return to normal.

(By Li Chien-chung and James Lo)

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