Damian Lillard Named 2013 Maurice Lucas Award recipient
PORTLAND, Ore. (April 17, 2013) – Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has been selected as the recipient of the 2012-13 Maurice Lucas Award, the team announced today. He was presented with the award by Trail Blazers General Manager Neil Olshey and Pam Lucas, wife of the late Maurice Lucas, at halftime of the Trail Blazers home finale against Golden State on Wednesday.
The award is given annually to the Trail Blazers player who best represents the indomitable spirit of Maurice Lucas through his contributions on the court and in the community, as well as in support of his teammates and the organization. In honor of the award, the Trail Blazers will make a $5,000 donation to the charity of Lillard’s choice.
“Damian has been a consummate professional throughout the entire season. Despite being a rookie by NBA standards, he’s carried himself with the poise of a veteran,” said Olshey. “He’s been one of our leaders in the locker room and has led by example on the court. That leadership extends into the community, which is something that can’t be taught. Damian epitomizes the nature of the Lucas Award and I’m pleased to see him win it.”
Entering the final game of his rookie season, Lillard leads the NBA in total minutes played (3,129) and is among league leaders (while leading all rookies) in points (13th; 19.0) and assists (17th; 6.5).
The Weber State product entered Wednesday with 183 3-pointers made, which is already a new NBA rookie record and a Trail Blazers single-season record for 3-pointers made. He also entered Wednesday leading the team in total points (1,541) and is the only Trail Blazers player to appear in every game this season.
Lillard is one of three players in NBA history to record 1,500 points and 500 assists in their rookie season (Oscar Robertson, Allen Iverson). He’s also just the second Trail Blazers player to achieve those numbers (Clyde Drexler, twice).
The 22-year-old has been named Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month five times (October/November, December, January, February and March). He also won the 2013 Taco Bell Skills Challenge and competed in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star Weekend in Houston.
The NBA named Lillard the recipient of the Kia Community Assist Award for March, recognizing his outstanding efforts in the community, ongoing advocacy and charitable work. On March 4, he helped tip-off the “Respect, Pass it On.” anti-bullying campaign, which encourages people to take a stand against bullying and pledge to respect others. The campaign has resulted in more than 5,000 pledges to date.
Lillard was just the fourth NBA rookie to receive a Community Assist Award, and the first since 2008. He was also just the fifth Portland player to receive the award, which was established at the beginning of the 2001-02 season. He is currently a finalist for the season-long Kia Community Assist Award.
The Trail Blazers dedicated the 2010-11 season to former Trail Blazers All-Star Maurice Lucas after he passed away on October 31, 2010 at the age of 58. A beloved member of the franchise and the community, “The Enforcer” was a central figure on the Trail Blazers 1976-77 NBA Championship team. The Trail Blazers honored Lucas by retiring his uniform number (No. 20) on Nov. 4, 1988.
He averaged 15.6 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 0.72 blocked shots over five seasons (1976-80, 87-88) in Portland. During Portland’s 1976-77 NBA Championship season, Lucas led the team in scoring (20.2), field goals made (8.0), free throws made (4.2), offensive rebounds (2.4) and minutes (36.2).
Selected to the All-Star Game in three straight seasons from 1977-79, Lucas is one of four three-time All-Stars in Trail Blazers history (Clyde Drexler, Brandon Roy, Sidney Wicks). He most recently served as an assistant coach with the Trail Blazers for five seasons from 2005-10, and previously in 1988-89.
Lillard joins Wesley Matthews (2011-12) and LaMarcus Aldridge (2010-11) as the third recipient of the Maurice Lucas Award.