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Rockets Assign Marcus Cousin To Vipers

NEW YORK, April 11, 2011 – Houston Rockets center Marcus Cousin was assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets’ NBA Development League affiliate, it was announced today. The assignment marks the 56th time in the 2010-11 season an NBA player has been assigned to an NBA D-League affiliate, and it is the first assignment for Cousin, a second-year pro out of Houston.

Cousin’s assignment extends the all-time highs the NBA D-League has seen this season in both total NBA player assignments (56) and individual NBA players assigned (39).

The Rockets signed Cousin from the Austin Toros for the remainder of the season for the 24th GATORADE Call-Up of the NBA D-League season. In 46 games (45 starts) with the Toros this season, Cousin averaged 14.9 points and 8.6 rebounds in 30.5 minutes. An NBA D-League All-Star, Cousin tallied 18 double-doubles this season for Austin, and earned his first GATORADE Call-Up in March, to the Utah Jazz. He appeared in four games with Utah, averaging 1.0 points and 0.8 rebounds in 4.5 minutes.

Cousin (6-11, 255) appeared in five games with the San Antonio Spurs in the 2010 NBA preseason, averaging 5.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in 15.8 minutes. He spent the 2009 NBA Summer League with the Rockets upon finishing his collegiate career at Houston. Cousin played two seasons as a Cougar after transferring from Seton Hall, averaging 10.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks as a senior in 2008-09.

Cousin joins the Vipers for Rio Grande Valley’s home playoff game against the Bakersfield Jam on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET. Bakersfield holds a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three first-round series. Rockets fans can keep track of Cousin and the Vipers by logging onto nba.com/dleague to watch every game live, online, for free.

The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league. Featuring 16 teams with direct affiliations to NBA franchises, the NBA D-League is a proven developer of talent: 20 percent of players in the NBA at the conclusion of the 2009-10 season boasted NBA D-League experience, and the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front-office staff for the NBA and its teams. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout the league’s 10th season, fans can watch all NBA D-League games on NBA FUTURECAST, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at nba.com/futurecast.