MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Former Mount Vernon High School basketball standout continues recovering, and is expected to make a return to the court as early as next month as he recovers from a gunshot wound he suffered in Mount Vernon on Wednesday, May 28.
The 20-year old basketball star, who currently plays guard at the University of Oklahoma, was innocently standing with a group of friends when he sustained a gunshot wound in his back in a reported gang-related shooting.
Cousins, who was the Section 1 MVP during his senior year at Mount Vernon, still has countless fans in the city.
“It tore us up when we heard about what happened,” Jerome Smith, who had a son that played basketball with Cousins for a year, said. “We knew his game better than we got to know him, but from what I could gather, he was a nice young man.”
Mount Vernon Police Commissioner Richard Burke said that Cousins was walking with friends when he was struck by an errant bullet in the crossfire of a suspected gang incident. He was struck in the back of the shoulder, but didn’t need surgery.
Cousins is expected to make a full recovery and will begin his summer training with the rest of his teammates next month. At the time of the shooting, reports questioned whether he would be able to continue his basketball career.
“Mount Vernon needs to get rid of the guns. There is something like this every week and it’s unacceptable,” resident William Schaefer said. “It’s too easy for too many maniacs to get these weapons and shoot up our streets.”
As a sophomore at Oklahoma, Cousins started all 33 games and averaged 11 points per game. He is a career .395 percent shooter who averages more than three rebounds and nearly two assists per game.
Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lon Kruger, who visited Cousins at the hospital, noted that Cousins was an innocent victim, and no one in his group of friends was the intended target of the shooting.
“I’ve spoken to Isaiah and he’s doing well. It truly was a matter of him being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he wrote. “He was simply talking to some friends when an outsider fired a shot. Everyone we’ve spoken to said they don’t believe anyone in his group was a target.”