Weber State University basketball sensation and recently drafted Portland Trailblazer Damian Lillard was recognized as Co-MVP of the NBA Summer League. The news was announced last week on Sunday, July 22.
The NBA Summer League is an opportunity during the professional offseason when the different teams of the league have the opportunity to play practice games with different rosters of rookies and younger players in place. This is done in order to compare how the different players play with one another and how a team’s newly acquired players can compete and improve.
After starting and playing in four games for the Trailblazers in the Summer League, Lillard was surely impressive to his new NBA team.
Lillard has posted some of the best statistics for the Trailblazers in the 2012 Summer League. Through four games, he averaged 32.8 minutes a game with 26.5 points, four rebounds and 5.3 assists per game, with a field goal percentage of .438.
“It’s fun,” Lillard told HoopsWorld.com. “I wouldn’t say I’m tearing it up . . . but it’s good to be out here in a game environment. I get to play against NBA-level talent and get up and down and develop that chemistry with my teammates.”
While Lillard’s ability to get to the basket and score is apparent through his stats, he is also regarded by many as a player with a cool head who can get things done all over the court.
“I think my ability to make plays is underrated,” Lillard said. “I think with talent around me, I’ll be able to show it. . . . I really just want to show that my game transfers and win games. . . . I want people to see that I can score the ball the same that I did in college in the NBA, and I want to show them that I make plays better than I’m given credit for.”
After many seasons with the Wildcat men’s basketball team, Lillard will now be learning to play at a new level of basketball, working with new faces and new team members.
“It’s just about getting comfortable with my teammates,” Lillard said, “. . . developing chemistry, so when we come into camp, it’ll be just those few veterans that I haven’t played with and it’ll be easier to get in the flow and the mix with them.”
Recently selected as the sixth pick in the NBA Draft, Lillard is coming from a promising background and history. Last year, the point guard posted one of the best statistical seasons in WSU history. Along with his average of 24.5 points per game, he also had an average of five rebounds, four assists and 1.5 steals per game. Lillard shot 88.7 percent from the free-throw line, one of the highest percentages in the nation, also shooting 40.9 percent from beyond the arc.
The five-time Big Sky Player of the Week led the 2011-12 Wildcat basketball team to a 25-7 record overall, including a record of 14-2 in Big Sky Conference play.