Wildcats Grad NBA Rookie of the Year!

Lillard is described as “fantastic” (Kobe Bryant)…

May 2nd, 2013

Damian Lillard
Photo courtesy: Portland Trail Blazers/NBA

Hey basketball fans!! Congratulations to Damian Lillard! The Oakland High School alum (Go Wildcats!) is the unanimous (!!) choice as the NBA’s Rookie of the Year!!

The Portland Trail Blazers guard is described as “fantastic” (Kobe Bryant), “fearless”, “competitive”, “poised”, “humble”, “well-mannered” and “unflappable”. Those who know him, and play with and against him, clearly believe he’s superb – both on and off the court.

He encourages young people to stay in school and stresses the importance of an education.

And even with such success, he hasn’t left Oakland behind. This little story has great insight. It’s from an article (January 11, 2013) written by Rusty Simmons, staff writer, for the SF Chronicle:

One of the first things Lillard did as a professional was sign a deal with Adidas. That wouldn’t be anything special if he hadn’t included in the negotiations a sponsorship for the AAU Oakland Rebels.
Lillard, who was considered a two-star recruit by Rivals.com in high school, grew up playing for the Rebels, who didn’t have the same sponsorships as the world-renowned Oakland Soldiers. So Lillard and his teammates had to grind out fundraising events just to play in tournaments.
“I want to give guys a step up from what I went through,” Lillard said. “I want them to be seen on trips and have chances for scholarships with nice shoes and uniforms, so they feel good about themselves and can play their best.”

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Lillard-returns-to-his-basketball-roots-4185199.php#ixzz2SADMCnv3

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