2012-2013 Slider Sports — 28 February 2013
Wildcat in the big leagues

Basketballer Damian Lillard takes NBA by storm

 

Oakland High graduate Damian Lillard. Image credit: sports-lite.com

Damian Lillard, point guard of the Portland Trail Blazers, has given back to his former team, the Oakland High Wildcats Varsity boys’ team.

This basketball season, the team was surprised with all new gear: warm ups, shoes and backpacks are among the things that Lillard gave to the entire team.

“It makes me feel good to see someone make it and achieve something they’ve strived so hard for,” said Nicholas Gaines, a junior who used to play basketball for the Wildcats.

Lillard has been playing basketball for the majority of his life, from playing in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) with the Oakland Rebels, to St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda, to Oakland High. Lillard played for Oakland High’s Coach Orlando Watkins for his junior and senior year.

At Oakland High, Lillard averaged over 20 points, four rebounds, and four assists per game in his junior year. During his senior year at Oakland High, he scored a total of 45 points in one game!

Lillard made it to the major leagues after four hard-working years at Weber State in Ogden, Utah. Lillard overcame an injury two years into his college basketball career, then recovered and surged back his junior year and dominating.

During each of his three full seasons at Weber State, the team won 20 or more games, with Lillard scoring 20 or more points per game. Last year he was ranked second nationally in scoring. After being drafted to the Blazers, Lillard become the first player since Grant Hill in 1994 to score at least 20 points in his first three NBA games.

“It inspires me to go for what I want and that with the determination and drive to succeed you can reach any dream or goal you have,” said Gregory Rozay Didier, a senior.

According to SI.COM, Lillard decided long ago that he would let nothing stop him in his quest to become apart of the NBA. After overcoming so many obstacles, Lillard has finally arrived!

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