SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – All-Star Weekend was a big success in Salt Lake City, especially for former Weber State star Damian Lillard.
Lillard is a 7-time All-Star, but this was the first time he was able to return to Utah to play in the big game.
“It’s fun for me,” Lillard said. “I always make my way back here, because I spent so much time here, I know so many people here.”
That doesn’t surprise his former Weber State coach, Randy Rahe, at all.
“I’ve said this a million times, he’s a really good basketball player, we all know that,” Rahe said Monday. “Hall of Fame and all that stuff. But he is a much better person than he is a basketball player, and it is legit. There is not a phony bone in his body. He’s got an old soul, he’s got a huge heart and he is very, very incredibly loyal.”
Never was that more evident than on Saturday night, when he wore a Weber State jersey and won the 3-point shooting contest.
“It was so cool,” Rahe said. “It was amazing. But it’s not surprising, coming from that guy. He’s in to constantly doing whatever he can to be a great ambassador for Weber State, for Ogden, and it never ends. Then to do what he did in the 3-point shooting contest, you know, win the thing, make all the shots, hit the money ball and all that, it was just a perfect ending.”
But that wasn’t the ending. Lillard scored 26 points in Sunday’s All-Star game, including a half court 3-pointer that hit nothing but net.
“I had a sense that he was going to shoot that, I really did,” Rahe said. “When he comes back to do the Weber State alumni game, he would fire a couple of those up, and I was watching him come up the court and I said “He’s going to let this one go.” It was classic, absolutely classic. And I’m not surprised that it went in at all.”