LEXINGTON — Every day, Andrew Rogers has to remind himself he’s not dreaming when he awakes.
“Sometimes I sit back and think, ‘Am I really here or really there?’” he said. “It’s just so much fun.”
The George Rogers Clark graduate serves as a manager for former University of Kentucky standout and Sacramento Kings standout DeMarcus Cousins and making sure his schedule is intact and performing other pertinent duties. Rogers and Cousins have been close for more than two years, and one is hardly spotted in public without the other. Rogers and Cousins spent some time in Winchester last month and even attended a football game at Cardinal Stadium.
“I do his travel (schedule), set up his radio and television interviews and make sure everything goes smooth,” Rogers said. “I just try to make sure that all he has to worry about is basketball. His agent (John Greig) and I, we coordinate (things) together. There’s a lot of communication between his agent and I and his mother (Monique Cousins).”
Rogers knew of Cousins before Cousins came to Kentucky, but the two became even closer friends during Cousins’ only season with the Wildcats and the two have been almost inseparable ever since. Rogers served as a student manager at Kentucky and became friends with several former players during his time with the team, but developed a closer bond with Cousins.
“We got to really good friends (at Kentucky),” he said.
During the summer, the two spent time at the Joe Craft Center working out for the upcoming season, even though the NBA and the players union currently remain unsettled on a collective bargaining agreement. Cousins and Rogers also spent time in Washington D.C., and were in the vicinity when a 5.6 magnitude earthquake rattled the region on Aug. 23.
Cousins wasn’t alarmed by the quake, but Rogers was surprised.
“It was scary,” he said.
Rogers and Cousins split time between Sacramento, Calif. and Washington D.C., where Cousins also has a condominium. Rogers doesn’t mind spending time in the nation’s Capitol, but prefers the West Coast over D.C. Cousins currently is working out at the Craft Center as the NBA works out its labor dispute.
“I’ve made a lot of new friends and there are a lot of things to do,” he said. “There are a lot of big cities around you. It’s something new. It’s really nice being close to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas. Everything is so close. Sacramento has great fans and it’s a great community. They have given DeMarcus nothing but a lot of love. Fans are crazy about him with his personality and stuff. It’s kind of like UK basketball. Nothing will ever be close to UK basketball, but they are (also) crazy about the team. They get tons of support. He loves the people and the town.”
Rogers sees the NBA as more of a business, compared to college athletics.
“That’s what (I’m involved in), is the business side of it,” he said. “It is demanding and takes a lot of time. Some days, he’ll have things going on from 8 a.m. until late at night. Then sometimes, he won’t have a lot to do, but there’s always something going on, from signing autographs to his car company, television and radio interviews and things like that. There’s always something going on.”
Rogers said Cousins hasn’t changed from his playing days at Kentucky.
“He’s just a lot of fun,” Rogers said. “Everybody thinks he’s a big, bad guy and everything, but he’s nothing but a big baby. He loves to have fun. He knows when to be serious. He’s a different guy on the court, which all basketball players are. You can’t judge a guy (by his actions) on the court. He just loves to play basketball.”
Being in a different time zones and schedule also requires creative ways to keep up with the Wildcats.
“We DVR every game and he’s on the road and I’m on the road, we always (keep up) with the score,” he said.
Although he enjoys the fast-paced lifestyle, Rogers also enjoys making visits back home.
“I never really thought I would miss Winchester, but after being in California and stuff, it’s always good to come home,” he said. “I love being back here.”