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PORTLAND, Ore. — The meteoric rise to stardom is still continuing for Weber State's Damian Lillard as he was named the NBA Rookie of the Year Wednesday.
The award shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that saw Lillard play, or watched him rack up every Rookie of the Month honor this season. He even called his shot by saying that he was going to win the award as he declared for the draft. However, he was somewhat of a long shot to win the award in the preseason when Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Hornets was considered the favorite.
As time went on and as Lillard had the chance to prove himself, he showed what he can do and now is one of only four unanimous Rookie of the Year award winners. The last to win the award unanimously was Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin in his 2010-11 season. The others were Ralph Sampson of the Houston Rockets in 1983-84 and David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs in 1989-90.
Lillard lead all rookies in scoring with 19 points per game, 6.5 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 38.6 minutes in all 82 games. He broke the rookie 3-point field goals made record with 185 — Stephen Curry held the previous record with 166.
"The Rookie of the Year Award validates the dedication and commitment to excellence Damian exhibited all season in games, at practice and in the community," said Trail Blazers General Manager Neil Olshey in a prepared statement. "His willingness to take ownership and be held accountable for the high expectations placed upon him since last year's draft are vital components in building a championship caliber roster. With his work ethic and passion for the game, Damian's historic rookie season is the first step in what will be a long and distinguished NBA career."
"I am very proud of what Damian accomplished this season," said Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts. "It is a testament to his talent, character and work ethic that he played at a very high and consistent level throughout his rookie season. Along the way, his name was mentioned along with some of the greats to have ever played in the NBA.
"This is just the beginning of what is sure to be an outstanding NBA career," Stotts added. "I know that Damian is already working on ways to get better for next season."
Lillard also joins Oscar Robertson and Allen Iverson as the only three rookies in the history of the NBA to record at least 1,500 points and 500 assists.
Lillard grabbed all 121 first-place votes for a total of 605 points. Davis came in second with 96 second-place and 18 third-place votes to finish with 306 points. Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards took third with 94 points.
In a Google+ Hangout with the mayor of Ogden, Mike Caldwell, gave Lillard a key to the city of Ogden and the city will hold a Damian Lillard when he comes back to Ogden in the coming months.