Damian Lillard recounts the events that took place at Weber State that ultimately led to Dame-Time being born.
Damian Lillard burst onto the scene as the 6th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and immediately made it clear he was an assassin in the clutch. After draining a game winning 3 over the New Orleans Hornets in his rookie year, Dame was bestowed with the confidence that was required to take the ball when the game was on the line, and put it through the basket.
Over the 9 years he’s been in the NBA, he’s pulled off some of the greatest heist jobs in terms of, stealing a game away from the opponent through sheer clutch performances. Everything from 6 points in the final 8 seconds of the game to two buzzer-beating, series winning shots in the Playoffs, something only Michael Jordan has accomplished.
Surprisingly, Damian Lillard wasn’t always the chosen one when it came down to the final minutes of a basketball game. It was at Weber State, where the 6’3 point guard learned to hone his skills in the clutch.
How and when was Dame-Time born?
Dame wasn’t a highly recruited player out of high school. Though he averaged nearly 28 points a game in his senior year at Oakland HS, playing for coach Orlando Watkins, he was merely a 2-star recruit. He received a couple offers from universities on the West Coast, but Weber State was the first to offer him a scholarship. Knowing how loyal Lillard is, he decided to attend Weber State in Oregon. It was at Weber State, that Dame-Time was born.
In his freshman year, Dame’s Wildcats were matched up against North Colorado. Due to a porr performance from Lillard in the first 3 quarters, the Wildcats were trailing by 3 with 22 seconds left in the game. Surprisingly, Dame was not the go-to guy here in the clutch, as Weber State’s leading scorer, Kellen McCoy was the one who this play was designed for.
Weber State trailed by 3. The team’s leading scorer was doubled, leaving the game in the hands of a little-known freshman PG.
“That shot feels like a turning point for me,” Damian Lillard said.
— Yaron Weitzman (@YaronWeitzman) April 14, 2021
North Colorado, knowing they would look for McCoy, double-teamed him. This resulted in Dame bringing it past half-court and letting it fly from beyond the arc to tie the game. This came as a shock to everybody in the stands and on the court, as he was ice cold the entirety of the game.
With the bout going to OT, Dame helped secure the win by dropping 4 points and an assist in the extra period. Damian Lillard recounts this moment as, “a turning point”. In true Dame fashion, he also said he wasn’t nervous when in that moment.