Randy Hollis of the Deseret News reports that Weber State coach Randy Rahe was surprised that his former player, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, was able to win the 2013 Rookie of the Year award in a unanimous vote.
Still, his college coach, Randy Rahe, admitted that he was a little surprised at how quickly Lillard established himself as one of the league's premier point guards. So, did he really expect his protege to be the NBA Rookie of the Year?
"Honestly? No," Rahe said. "I wish I could say I did. I was skeptical, but again, that's Damian. It's a testament to him. He's always been one of those kids that, the minute you tell him he can't do something, he's gonna go do it.
"He's played with a chip on his shoulder ever since high school. He played with a chip on his shoulder here, and I know he played with a chip on his shoulder his first year in Portland.
"The kid is truly amazing, and I've never seen a kid work so hard for something in my entire life," the Wildcats' coach added, bursting his buttons with pride. "I knew he could play. I knew he could be successful. But I think it goes back to he went to the right place. Portland was willing to give him the ball and kind of give him the reins of the team, and I think that's one of the reasons why he came along as quickly as he did."
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter