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Weber State basketball: Weber State to retire Damian Lillard's jersey

Damian Lillard dribbles down the court. Weber State will retire Lillard's jersey at the WSU men's basketball Alumni Classic on Aug. 26.
Damian Lillard dribbles down the court. Weber State will retire Lillard's jersey at the WSU men's basketball Alumni Classic on Aug. 26.
Weber State Athletics

Weber State Athletics will retire the jersey of NBA star Damian Lillard as part of the Weber State Men’s Basketball Alumni Classic on Aug. 26.

Lillard, a two-time NBA All-Star with the Portland Trail Blazers, will participate with many other Wildcat greats at the Alumni Classic at the Dee Events Center. He will participate in the shooting stars and 3-point contests, and he will serve as one of the coaches during the alumni game.

At halftime of the alumni game, WSU will retire Lillard’s No. 1 jersey.

“It’s an honor to have my jersey retired and to join so many great Weber State players that came before me,” Lillard said. “Although my jersey is being retired for the work I put in during my time as a Wildcat, I couldn’t have been successful without the support of my coaches, teammates and staff.”

Lillard will join Willie Sojourner (1968-71) and Bruce Collins (1976-80) as the only men’s basketball players to have their jerseys retired.

Lillard has left a mark as one of the greatest athletes to come through Weber State and the Big Sky Conference in any sport. He was a two-time Big Sky MVP and earned Third Team All-American honors in 2012, the only men’s basketball player in Big Sky history to be named to an All-America team.

He came to Weber State as a freshman out of Oakland, California, in 2008 and was named the Big Sky Freshman of the Year and to the All-Conference First Team in 2009. The following season he led the Wildcats to the Big Sky title and was named conference MVP.

After suffering a season-ending injury the next season, he came back for the 2011-12 season to once again earn conference MVP honors, and he was named to the Third Team All-America team by the Associated Press and the NABC.

He led the nation in scoring for most of that season and finished the year second in the country with 24.5 points per game, while leading the Wildcats to a 25-7 overall record. He was named Big Sky MVP and the District VIII Player of the Year, and he set a Weber State single-season scoring record with 784 points. He also was named Big Sky Player of the Week five times and National Player of the Week once.

In his four years at Weber State, he played in 103 games and scored 1,934 points, now third most in school history. He also currently ranks in the WSU career top 10 in 14 different categories, including the school leader in free throws made and free throw percentage and he ranks second in assists.

He declared for the NBA Draft and was selected with the sixth pick of the 2012 draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. He went on to become the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2013 and has twice earned All-NBA honors and twice been named to the NBA All-Star team.

Lillard completed his degree and graduated from Weber State University in May 2015.

“We’re thrilled to honor Damian Lillard for the impact he’s had on the men’s basketball program, Weber State University and the Ogden community,” said Jerry Bovee, Weber State director of athletics. “Retiring his jersey reflects what he did on the court but also is about the kind of person he is and the dedication he puts into everything he’s involved in. He continues to bleed purple wherever he goes and is so deserving of this honor. I hope the community will come out to support him in this distinguished recognition.”

The Weber State Men’s Basketball Alumni Classic begins at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 26, and will feature many former Wildcat greats, including Big Sky MVP’s Harold “The Show” Arceneaux, Davion Berry, Jermaine Boyette, Jimmy DeGraffenried, Kellen McCoy and David Patten. It will also include other Wildcat greats in Lance Allred, Kyle Bullinger, Daviin Davis, Lewis Lofton, Nic Sparrow, Walt Tyler and Jimmie Watts. Full rosters will be announced soon.

Weber State to retire Damian Lillard's jersey

Highlights of Damian Lillard while he played for Weber State.

Paul Grua is the Director of Athletic Communications at Weber State University.