East Oakland, California, a place known for danger and crime. Many view this place as the killing field, where young African American males are statically more likely to end up either dead or in jail. While this statistic maybe true for the majority of people, there is nothing further than the truth for Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard.
Lillard who grew up in Oakland, was always one to exceed expectations and not settle for average. This began while in high school, where Lillard was an average player at the local power house, St. Joseph Notre Dame, which is the alma matter of all star Jason Kidd. Mostly ignored as a player, Lillard strived to be better and ultimately transferred to Oakland High, where he flourished as player averaging 28 points a game.
Despite his success at Oakland High, Lillard was once again snubbed by colleges who passed up the opportunity to recruit Lillard, which led to him ultimately attending Weber State University in Utah. While at Weber State, Lillard exceeded expectations once again and showed that he means business, however he was mostly overlooked during his college career and was not considered a serious draft contender.
However, Lillard did not let this deter him from performing his best. Following his senior year, Lillard continued to excel and after completing work outs he was ultimately projected as a top ten draft pick. Lillard was eventually picked sixth overall and the rest is now history. After a year of success, Lillard now looks to build upon his success from the previous season and continue to excel.
Although some skeptics may feel Lillard may go into a sophomore slump, however I disagree. Expect him to be explosive and improve as a player. I expect Lillard to once again beat the odds, as he has done on multiple occasions and not only improve as a player but assist his team in improving. With the added support expect Rip City to improve to about 45 wins for the 2013-14 season.