You know I couldn't release a signature shoe without paying tribute to my Weber State Athletics roots. —Damian Lillard, NBA star and former Weber State men's basketball player
Former Weber State men’s basketball star Damian Lillard has paid tribute to his alma mater by dedicating one of his new shoe designs to the Ogden university.
On Tuesday, Lillard and Adidas unveiled the “D Lillard 1,” Lillard’s first signature shoe. The Portland Trail Blazers All-Star said at his shoe unveiling that it’s a dream come true. “My entire life I've dreamed of having my own signature shoe," Lillard said in an Adidas press release. “I've worked so hard throughout my basketball career and with the support of my family, teammates and fans I've been able to get to a point where I'm fortunate enough to achieve that dream.”
Not forgetting about his alma mater, Damian Lillard dedicated one of his shoe designs to Weber State.
Lillard played for the Wildcats from 2008-12, where he was a two-time Big Sky Player of the Year. During his senior year, Lillard led the nation in scoring for the majority of the season, averaging 24.5 points per game along with 4.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds. Lillard was the sixth overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft by Portland and was the unanimous NBA Rookie of the Year in 2012-13 and selected to his first All-Star team in the 2013-14 season. Now in his third year in the NBA, Lillard continues to shine, leading Portland to one of the league’s best records.
On his Facebook account, Lillard displayed his purple pride shoes:
One distinctive feature about Lillard’s purple Adidas shoe is that it’s the only shoe out of the collection that comes in suede.
The insole of each shoe features a rap lyric written on it. Lillard has been rapping since he was 14 years old, and lately created a freestyle rap challenge on Instagram called @4BarFriday. For the purple suede D Lillard 1 shoe, the rap lyric written on the shoe ends with “You Bleed Purple,” one of Weber State’s signature mottos.
The D Lillard 1’s will come in various styles. Each pair of shoes comes with Lillard’s new logo on the back left shoe.
On Adidas’ press release, the shoe brand described the significance of the logo.
"The D Lillard 1 features the new Damian Lillard logo, which consists of his initials, 'DL,' fusing together to create a '0.' The '0' is Lillard's number on court, which he chose to represent the letter 'O' for the three places he's called home: Oakland, where he grew up, Ogden, where he attended Weber State University, and current home state Oregon. Affixed to the left side of the logo is a wing comprised of three stripes, a nod to the nickname of his group of closest friends and family, the 'Fly Guyz.’ ”
The D Lillard 1 shoes by Adidas will be available for purchase for $105 beginning on Feb. 6 at adidas.com and Foot Locker stores.
Lillard’s first signature shoe could be a hit among basketball fans across the country, Utah, and in particular, Ogden.
Xoel CÀrdenas is a sports writer with the Deseret News. He is also a columnist at SB Nation, the biggest sports blog site in the country, where he covers FC Barcelona. Follow him on Twitter @XoelCardenas