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In case you have lived under a rock the past three years, there is one guy who is kind of a big deal here at Weber State. That guy is Damian Lillard. In addition to holding multiple Weber State basketball records, he will soon add an NBA record to his resume.
He will be a very busy man at the upcoming NBA All-Star Weekend, as he will become the first player ever to compete in all five events of the weekend. This is also his first all-star selection, and he will play in the main event Sunday night after being selected as a reserve for the Western Conference.
In an interview with Sam Amik and USA Today Sports by phone, Lillard stated, “A lot of people don’t get the opportunity, so I just felt like it was something that had never been done, and I’m capable of doing all the things that need to be done in all the competitions, so I figured, why not go out and be the first one to do everything and get that experience?”
He will make his second appearance in the Rising Stars Challenge as the NBA sophomores take on the rookies, and will look to defend his title in the event he won last year at the skills challenge. Throw on top of that him trying to become the first Trail Blazer to win the 3-point contest and/or the slam-dunk contest.
Portland Trail Blazer legends such as Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter, Cliff Robinson and Rudy Fernandez have made their own attempts in these events and come up short. Lillard will not only make history for the league, but will do his best to make history for his franchise.
The dunk contest has the potential to be a good one, as Lillard will be joined in competition by bona fide NBA stars and fellow 2014 All-Stars in Indiana’s Paul George and Washington’s John Wall. Add Golden State’s Harrison Barnes and defending champ Toronto’s Terrance Ross to the mix, and it makes this one of the most looked-forward-to dunk contests in years. These players’ participation marks the first time in 26 years that three All-Stars will compete in the dunk contest.
Lillard bested Spurs guard Tony Parker and Hawks guard Jeff Teague last year to win the skills challenge and propel him to be recognized as a great young point guard in the NBA. He looks to duplicate this success and win against Utah Jazz rookie guard Trey Burke and Raptors star DeMar DeRozan.
The 3-point contest has been highly regarded in years past, and this year will be no different, as Lillard will battle Minnesota’s Kevin Love, sharpshooter Stephan Curry and defending champ Kyrie Erving.
As the second leading 3-point shooter in terms of made threes in Weber State history, look for Lillard to go after the win and put up a good showing in this one.
With All-Star Weekend being a fun, energetic showcase of talent, Lillard has accepted the challenge of competing in all events and looks forward to showing the league and fans what many of us Weber State students already know.
So put it on your DVR or plan on staying in and witnessing history by one of Weber State’s own on Saturday night.