PORTLAND, Ore — As video of Damian Lillard’s game winning three Tuesday night continues making jaws drop around the world, the league is pointing to its spotlight at another clip of the four-time NBA All-Star.
It shows him in school gymnasiums and kids’ hospital rooms.
Wednesday Lillard was named one of 10 players nominated for the 2018-19 season long NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente.
Per a news release, the award “…honors a player’s strong commitment to positively impact his community through sustained efforts over the course of the season. The winning player will receive the award during the 2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia on TNT, and $25,000 to their charity of choice, a donation from the NBA and Kaiser Permanente.”
Lillard, like most of his teammates, has made charity work a focus during his time in Portland.
CJ McCollum won the monthly version of the same award last year, donating proceeds to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro.
A large portion of Wednesday’s video featured time Lillard spent promoting his RESPECT program, which encourages kids at Portland-area schools to “Show Up, Work Hard and Be Kind”.
Junior David Chappell is one of a few who helps promote the campaign at Roosevelt High School.
“They're like role models I guess, especially Lillard when he comes to the school,” he said. “It sets a good example for how students should act. Like they see it on TV.”
Chappell and fellow junior Marcus Chitala said Thursday they saw the RESPECT motto embodied in the entire Blazers team during the round one of the NBA Playoffs against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
While opposing players taunted the Blazers and trash-talked on the court, Lillard and the team remained composed and respectful.
“I'm proud Portland is our team. The Trail Blazers are our team because the way they carry themselves. They don't get in trouble and stuff, and you can tell every season they're getting better and better so they're working,” said Chitala.