Portland Trailblazers star Damian Lillard has mostly made headlines this NBA preseason for his rap skills and related sparring with Shaquille O’Neal. However, Lillard has also been busy paying it forward in the local community through another favorite pastime.
As part of his RESPECT program, launched in 2012 to teach students core values for success, including showing up, working hard and being kind, Lillard treated students from three area high schools to a roller skating party at Oaks Park Roller Skating Rink in Portland last month.
“You guys are all very, very valuable members of the respect campaign, and we just wanted to make sure that you guys realize that after coming off a long summer how important it is to show up, work hard and be kind,” Lillard shared at the event.
Lillard spent the event skating alongside the students in his program, sharing motivational words and providing mentorship:
“The worst thing you can do is be worrying about the NBA as a ninth grader. When I was in the ninth grade, I was trying to win a game. If you can’t make it in high school, all you’re doing is short-changing yourself to be successful in life.”
Check out the event recap video with music by Lillard a.k.a. Dame D.O.L.L.A.