Blazers Select Weber State G Damian Lillard With No. 6 Pick In 2012 NBA Draft

With the sixth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers selected Weber State point guard Damian Lillard, according to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports (here) and David Aldridge of NBA.com (here).

Lillard showed up to the Draft wearing a black tie, red kerchief and red socks, according to Matt Norlander of CBSSports.com.

Update: The pick has now gone official.

Blazersedge Write-Up on Lillard

Lillard, 21, averaged 24.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game during his senior season at Weber State.

Lillard finished his four-year career at Weber State with averages of 18.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.25 steals. The two-time Big Sky Conference MVP and Oakland, Calif., native placed second in the nation in scoring last season with 24.6 points per game (46.7% FG), earning Associated Press All-American Third Team honors.

Click through for Damian Lillard's 2012 NBA Draft question and answer from Newark on Draft night.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

Q. Damian, if you could start with opening remarks about being drafted by the Blazers, please.

DAMIAN LILLARD: First of all, I want to say I'm blessed to be in this position. I would be lying if I said I expected to be here last year. But I'm honored, man, just to be drafted that high coming from where I come from, the school that I come from, and just so thankful to be in this situation.

Q. You're going to a Portland Trail Blazers team that has good talent with (LaMarcus) Aldridge and Nicolas Batum. How will that help you to accentuate your skill set, especially working with those guys?

DAMIAN LILLARD: I think those guys have been around, they have been in the league. They will be able to show me the ropes. They came in young and had to play, and I think that will help me.

But as far as being on the course, having a guy like Nicolas Batum on the wing who can shoot the ball and defend very well, and he's an athlete; I think I have those same tools for my position.

And will he LaMarcus Aldridge, he's an All‑Star, so he demands a double‑team and I can knock down shots, so when teams are double‑teaming him, I'll be the guy that will make them pay for double‑teaming; and if they decide to play him one‑on‑one, then he can make something happen, because that's what he does.

But you know, I feel like I can help their organization.

Q. You said you would be lying if you said you were expecting to be here a year ago. What were you expecting a year ago for your future?

DAMIAN LILLARD: My foot was broken and I was just hoping to get this year back. I got the year back, and I was a junior this year.

I just wanted to come back strong and be better as a player this year and comeback and make a run for the NBA as a senior. It all fell into place this year, and like I said, I would be lying if I said I expected it to come this fast.

Q. How did you pick Weber State of all places?

DAMIAN LILLARD: Well, I come from a loyal family, hard‑working family. Weber State was one of the first schools that recruited me. I built a relationship with them from day one. They never tried to blow smoke. They were honest with me from jump. They told me if you don't go to class, you're going home; if you don't work hard, you're going home. And I felt comfortable with the things that they valued, because that's what I was raised in and that's how my family was.

Once I developed that relationship, and we built that strong relationship, I felt like there was no other place that I should go where I would bond with everybody there.

Q. You're now an NBA guard, the first guard off the board; what does that mean to you?

DAMIAN LILLARD: It means a lot. Like I said, coming from where I come from, it just shows that I have won people over, and I've always been the underdog, high school, college, being overlooked.

And to finally see that my body of work, how hard I worked to get in this position has paid off and other people see it, it's just a good feeling.

Q. You mentioned yesterday that you wanted to show teams the past couple of months who you were because of where you went to school; how much do you think these last couple of months have helped you to get to where you are, the No. 6 pick in the draft?

DAMIAN LILLARD: I think it's helped me a lot. At the end of the season, there was still a lot of questions about me, whether I could do what I do against higher‑level players, and if I was really as good as advertised. That was one of the main reasons I competed in Chicago both days. I think competing in Chicago and showing teams that I will go against whoever, and I played well. So I think that was one of the main things that helped me. In the workouts I showed that I was in good shape. I didn't really get tired, I made a lot of shots, and teams also got to see some things I did well that they didn't know I did well. So I think I helped myself a lot.

Q. The biggest jump might be on the defensive end, it's really become a point guard's league. What's it like, you're in a division now with Chris Paul and Stephon Curry; what's it going to be like for you defending these guys, and have you ever gotten a taste of defending anyone at that level?

DAMIAN LILLARD: It's going to be tough, just like it is for every other point guard in the league that's been there. So it won't be no easier for me, but I defended guys ‑‑ Jimmer Fredette, I defended him in college, Nic Wise, Lance Stephenson, he's a point barred, Deron Williams when he was in Utah, caught him in a couple open gyms.

I've got to get better at. It's something I feel that I have to get better at and keep working, and I've got to want to do it obviously, and I will.

Q. This is an era of what is considered dominated by NBA point guards. Do you feel that you can rank right up there with those like a Tony Parker, Deron Williams, as your career progresses?

DAMIAN LILLARD: I think I can work my way to that point. I think the type of point guard that I am is becoming the way the point guards are in the NBA, when you look at Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker, you see guys that score the ball really well but they get their teammates involved and they win games most importantly. I think that's one of the reasons why teams value me, because I can score the ball, I make the right plays and I'm a high‑character guy.

So I think I can eventually work my way into that category.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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