Lillard comes to Longview, raises $19,800
Three for Threes

Lillard comes to Longview, raises $19,800

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As a youngster growing up in Oakland, Damian Lillard had no idea he’d eventually be coming to communities and shooting 3-pointers for charity events. “Foundation was really important to me growing up,” the Portland Trail Blazers’ star said. “I had two parents, and several aunts, uncles and cousins who helped me understand what was right, what was wrong, and where my heart should be.” Lillard was on Ted M. Natt Court at Mark Morris on Saturday for the fourth consecutive year with the “Threes for Threes” fundraiser sponsored by Dick Hannah Toyota. The fundraiser concept was simple: Dick Hannah would donate $300 for every made 3-pointer by Lillard, with the final total to be split among the Longview YMCA, Humane Society of Cowlitz County, Friends of the Columbia River Gorge, and Mark Morris Athletics. “Damian has been loyal to us from the beginning,” said Brian Sanders, the general manager of Dick Hannah Toyota. “We got with him when he first came to Portland, and we’ve kept the partnership ever since.” There was a carnival-like atmosphere to the event for the several hundred fans who attended. A bevy of youngsters were showing off their 3-point skills at one end of the court, while a small hoop shoot game and a ‘spin the wheel’ for prizes was on the other end. After ample time to warmup, Lillard was told he would shoot three sets of 12 3-pointers, with the made total to determine the donation amount. The 28-year-old two-time NBA All-Star made his first eight shots en route to netting 11 of 12. After a few minutes where autographed shoes and basketball were given away to lucky fans, Lillard dug in for his second set of 12 shots. He swished the first nine shots, again finishing 11-12. Following another short break, Lillard again hit the first nine shots, finishing 11-12. “I do a lot of stuff like this, but this one is the most unique,” Lillard said. “The donation is dependent on making shots, so there’s a little pressure.” After Lillard’s final set of shots, Dick Hannah was called down from the grandstands to speak to the Blazer fans in attendance. “The Longview-Kelso area is a big part of our dealership family, and it’s a pleasure to be here,” he said. “Damian is a great representative for our dealerships, and he’s done a great job helping us with promotions.” When asked if he would double the donation if a free throw was made, Hannah quickly replied “absolutely.” Lillard, also a Global Ambassador for Special Olympics the past 10 years, was asked if he had someone in mind to shoot the donation-doubling free throw. He stepped over to the special VIP section and selected Rainier’s Stanley Stimson, who plays Special Olympics basketball in Longview. Stimson’s shot was on target, but rattled out. Lillard alertly grabbed the rebound and converted the layup. The crowd turned to Hannah, who was standing courtside. When asked if the shot would count, he said “as far as I could see the shot went in, so the offer is good.” In all, Hannah donated $19,800 to be divided among the charities. “I like to do things like this,” Lillard said. “Driving up here and giving my time and effort to make shots costs me nothing but time. To have this platform and influence as a professional athlete is a responsibility. We should all be willing to do things like this.” This mindset goes back to his days in Oakland. “Things like this mean something to me instead of being on TV all the time,” he said. “That will all happen, but things like this matter even more when it’s close to home and heart.”

As a youngster growing up in Oakland, Damian Lillard had no idea he’d eventually be coming to communities and shooting 3-pointers for charity events.

“Foundation was really important to me growing up,” the Portland Trail Blazers’ star said. “I had two parents, and several aunts, uncles and cousins who helped me understand what was right, what was wrong, and where my heart should be.”

Lillard was on Ted M. Natt Court at Mark Morris on Saturday for the fourth consecutive year with the “Threes for Threes” fundraiser sponsored by Dick Hannah Toyota.

The fundraiser concept was simple: Dick Hannah would donate $300 for every made 3-pointer by Lillard, with the final total to be split among the Longview YMCA, Humane Society of Cowlitz County, Friends of the Columbia River Gorge, and Mark Morris Athletics.

“Damian has been loyal to us from the beginning,” said Brian Sanders, the general manager of Dick Hannah Toyota. “We got with him when he first came to Portland, and we’ve kept the partnership ever since.”

There was a carnival-like atmosphere to the event for the several hundred fans who attended. A bevy of youngsters were showing off their 3-point skills at one end of the court, while a small hoop shoot game and a ‘spin the wheel’ for prizes was on the other end.

After ample time to warmup, Lillard was told he would shoot three sets of 12 3-pointers, with the made total to determine the donation amount. The 28-year-old two-time NBA All-Star made his first eight shots en route to netting 11 of 12. After a few minutes where autographed shoes and basketball were given away to lucky fans, Lillard dug in for his second set of 12 shots.

He swished the first nine shots, again finishing 11-12. Following another short break, Lillard again hit the first nine shots, finishing 11-12.

“I do a lot of stuff like this, but this one is the most unique,” Lillard said. “The donation is dependent on making shots, so there’s a little pressure.”

After Lillard’s final set of shots, Dick Hannah was called down from the grandstands to speak to the Blazer fans in attendance.

When asked if he would double the donation if a free throw was made, Hannah quickly replied “absolutely.”

Lillard, also a Global Ambassador for Special Olympics the past 10 years, was asked if he had someone in mind to shoot the donation-doubling free throw. He stepped over to the special VIP section and selected Rainier’s Stanley Stimson, who plays Special Olympics basketball in Longview. Stimson’s shot was on target, but rattled out. Lillard alertly grabbed the rebound and converted the layup. The crowd turned to Hannah, who was standing courtside. When asked if the shot would count, he said “as far as I could see the shot went in, so the offer is good.”

In all, Hannah donated $19,800 to be divided among the charities.

“I like to do things like this,” Lillard said. “Driving up here and giving my time and effort to make shots costs me nothing but time. To have this platform and influence as a professional athlete is a responsibility. We should all be willing to do things like this.”

This mindset goes back to his days in Oakland.

“Things like this mean something to me instead of being on TV all the time,” he said. “That will all happen, but things like this matter even more when it’s close to home and heart.”

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