Portland Trail Blazer Damian Lillard has been named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year. Lillard received the award at the Rose Garden Wednesday.
He’s the fourth Trail Blazer to win the award, and the fourth player in NBA history to win the award unanimously.
In his acceptance speech, Lillard gave credit to his family for supporting him, but also for toughening him up.
Lillard described a rough upbringing in Oakland, California. He says he’s been out to prove his critics wrong since he left the relatively-small Weber State University for the NBA.
“In a press conference back in school, I told the crowd there that I wanted to be Rookie of the Year. And some people might say I’d be crazy, and now here I am getting this award. You know, I’m not surprised by it. That’s not meant to be a cocky statement. But I’m not surprised by it at all, because I know I put the work in to put myself in this position.”
Lillard says he has higher goals than winning Rookie of the Year, like making an All-Star game, winning Most Valuable Player, and getting an NBA title.