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Kragthorpe: College Coach Near Tears Seeing Damian Lillard's NBA Success

A Salt Lake City columnist writes that Weber State coach Randy Rahe is enjoying Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard's NBA success.

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Kurt Kragthorpe of the Salt Lake Tribune writes that Weber State coach Randy Rahe wants to cry seeing his former player, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, off to a hot start in his rookie season.

Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers visited EnergySolutions Arena for a preseason game against the Jazz in October, and Rahe stood on the sideline during warmups, reliving Lillard's journey from Ogden to the NBA.

"I almost broke down," Rahe said recently. "No kid in the NBA has worked harder to be where he is. I know that for a fact."


"I'll be honest with you, I wish I and my staff could take more credit for Damian. We can't," Rahe said. "I mean, Damian's a self-made guy. My staff did an incredible job of developing him, [but] Damian did the work."

"Some of these guys get in the NBA and they're worried about the money and the fame and the cool," Rahe said. "He couldn't care less about that stuff. And that's why he's going to be good. He just wants to be really good."

Lillard was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for October/November last week.

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter