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Lillard Reflects On Time As Weber State Wildcat

Following his appearance at the Alumni Classic, Lillard spoke to current players.

Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers’ star point guard Damian Lillard participated in the Weber State Alumni Classic, an event he helps organize, on Friday. As he typically does when visiting Weber State, Lillard made himself available to players, reports Brett Hein of the Standard-Examiner. Asked about his approach, Lillard had a lot to say.

“I try not to come at them with all the answers, you know?” he said. “I never want it to be like I’m everything and I’m the only thing for Weber State, because I’m not. I just give them their space. They’ll come up, they’ll ask questions.”

“I speak on the program. I was a program player; it wasn’t like Damian Lillard and the Weber State Wildcats. I represented the program and I was invested in the program, and what coach (Randy) Rahe and coach (Eric) Duft and coach (Tim) Gardner were preaching, and what they were pushing on us,” Lillard said. “I embraced what that meant to be part of the program and everybody before me did the same thing.

“So when I speak to them, I’m telling them it means something to have Weber State across your chest. Everybody can’t be in the NBA, everybody won’t go pro. But while you’re here, you’re a part of something special because of what this program is about. If you embrace that and work hard, do what is asked of you and be a true Weber State Wildcat, be what this program means, then whatever it is that you do want to do, you’ll have a better chance because of it.”

Lillard also spoke about the team mentality he took to the court in college.

“I was going to try to do the right things even in times when I probably should have tried to take over and keep the ball, because I was such a program player. But it worked out for me in the long run,” Lillard said. “When I was here, I was just dialed in on being a program player, and that’s the biggest message I try to share with them.”

Lillard graduated from Weber State in 2015, earning a degree in professional sales three years after leaving the school for the NBA.