If Weber State basketball fans were mourning former Wildcat Damian Lillard being cut from the USA basketball World Cup roster, then the star point guard had something to cheer them up Monday morning.
Lillard announced on Twitter he would be gracing the cover of the upcoming EA Sports game, NBA Live 15.
The guard also shared the news with a video he posted on Instagram. In the video, Lillard is holding a copy of the game and speaks about the honor of being on the cover.
“I am so honored and I am so blessed to be in this position,” Lillard said in the video. “I am thankful for EA Sports for making me the cover guy. It’s a long time coming, took a lot of hard work and it’s a dream come true.”
The appearance on the cover further shows Lillard's climb from a little-known Weber State product to starring in the NBA.
Lillard spoke to Sports Illustrated after the cover announcement saying, “I think it’s such an honor because of the journey, because of how hard I had to work to earn something like this. Just being a cover athlete is a big deal to me, because when I try to remember a certain year of a game, I gotta go back to who the cover athlete was. When people go back to this one, they’ll remember that Dame Lillard was on the cover, and I’m just glad EA Sports has given me the opportunity to be that guy.”
The journey that Lillard speaks of went right through Ogden. The Wildcats were the only D-I team to offer Lillard a scholarship out of high school, and in an Adida's commercial, released earlier this month, the former Weber State guard showed he hasn’t forgotten his alma mater’s city.
In the commercial, Lillard plays a concession worker at a movie theater and is being interviewed about his performance.
A reporter asks Lillard, “Where do you draw your strength from?” The star guard responds, “Anywhere that’s got a multiplex: Ogden, Oregon, Oak-town.”
For the Wildcat faithful in Ogden, the cover unveiling should help ease the pain of seeing Lillard be left off the USA basketball World Cup squad. Lillard wasn’t the only player with Utah ties left off the roster as Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward and former Jazzman Kyle Korver were also cut from the team.