WWII vet gets birthday wish, meets Damian Lillard

A 93-year-old World War II veteran got to sit courtside and meet Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard.

PORTLAND, Ore. – A 93-year-old World War II veteran got to live out a dream Wednesday night at the Moda Center.

Elmer Ballard is a die-hard Blazers fan, and even bigger fan of star point guard Damian Lillard. He loves not only what Lillard brings on the court, but what he provides to the community off of it.

“He’s a great guy,” Ballard said of Lillard. “He shoots that basketball so well.”

Ballard’s wish for his 94th birthday was to meet his favorite player. So word was spread in a subtle way on social media.

“It’ll be how many retweets do I need to get to meet you?” Lillard said of the usual Twitter tactic. “But this is coming from a totally different level.”

Ballard’s wish got out by way of a video tweet from Twitter user Mr. Portland. When word reached Lillard on Nov. 3, he responded “Let’s do it.”

And on Wednesday, Ballard’s wish came true. He was given front row seats to the game and got to meet the face of the Blazers franchise.

“With an older guy, him being a World War II veteran, the level of respect that he wanted to meet me, and that it actually got to me, that it got to my social media, I just wanted to make it happen,” Lillard said.

Elmer said this birthday beats all the rest.

It was also a good night to see Lillard in action. He scored a team-high 26 points to lead the Blazers to a 99-94 win over the Magic.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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