11.19.17

Damian Lillard’s Advice For Young Athletes

Most kids can only dream of playing basketball with their favorite player. Our young athlete cover star, Luke Calvin, got to do just that when he hit the court with Damian Lillard in Oakland for our photoshoot. Luke also got to hang out with Damian for a while, asking for advice and soaking up everything he could from one of the game’s best point guards.

Luke: Why do you love basketball?

Damian: I love the game of basketball, because it gives me the opportunity to free myself from any problems, anything that’s going on in my life outside of the basketball court. When I get out there, the game is the only thing I’m thinking about. It’s something I love. It’s something I’m passionate about. There’s nothing better. I’ve felt that way since I was a kid. Why do you love the game?

EKN7 Blog 3

Luke: Because I get to express myself and I can be creative. And it’s really fun. How would you describe your game?

Damian: I think the best way to describe my game is fearless. Every game, I’m attacking whoever I’m playing against. I’m going after them. What are your basketball goals?

Luke: I want to be in the NBA and I want to be a 20-time MVP.

Damian: If you’re a 20-time MVP, you’re going to be the best that ever played. You’re trying to be the G.O.A.T. Dream big!

Luke: So what advice do you have for someone who wants to become a pro?

Damian: It’s really hard to make it the league, let alone be a 20-time MVP. So, I would say you’ve got to work extremely hard, and all of the intangibles are really important. Your character, your work ethic, how coachable you are, how much your teammates like you. Make those things your strong points. You have to be great at those things in order to be great on the basketball court.

Luke: What advice do you have for someone who wants to be a leader?

EKN7 Blog 1

Damian: Put the team before yourself. A true leader has his teammates’ best interests in mind. You have to put that in front of what you want for yourself. When you do that, that’s how you get guys to follow you – play harder for you. The more you’re willing to put the team in front of yourself, the further you’ll go.

Luke: What’s your favorite basketball shoe?

Damian: My favorite basketball shoe is the Dame 4, because it’s mine. What about you?

Luke: These. (points to his Dame 4s)

Damian: The Dame 4s! That’s what I’m talking about. What players do you look up to the most?

Luke: You, Michael Jordan, and Kevin Durant.

Damian: That’s a good group. So you know I’m a rapper. What should my next song be about?

Luke: Me.

Damian: (laughs) Call it Luke Nasty.

Luke: What’s one challenge you have for me?

EKN7 Blog 2

Damian: I would challenge you to work hard every day. It’s easy for people to work hard on Monday and Tuesday, but it’s hard to do it every single day. That’s what separates average players and the best players. Work harder than everybody else and do the things that other people won’t do. Hold yourself more accountable. Do you have any challenges for me?

Luke: I challenge you to get 110 points in a game.

Damian: I almost had 60 last year. I’ll see what I can do, man.

Author:

3 Comments

  • Joanette Calvin:

    Very good interview Damian did a great job with this young boy very inspiring giving some valuable lesson on the game of basketball and leadership. In times in which we live today in this crazy world we need more Damian Lillards to take the so kids can see the person and not just a super star. Thank you Damian for be real. I also enjoyed Luke who was giving this opportunity and handled himself very well with questions challenges and listening and not to mention how handsome Luke is making the photo shoot great . I thouhgt everything was awesome oh did I mention Luke Calvin is my grandson we are very proud of him. Thank you

  • cynthia dang:

    Great advice to all young people, no matter what you want to be. Sometimes hearing these words from someone other than family may make an impact on the young people.

  • Sevgi n Muad:

    So proud! I have no doubt he will be in the NBA killin it! Keep working hard Luke! We love ya!

A Look Back: The Air Jordan 3 ‘Black Cement’

The latest retro of the Air Jordan 3 'Black Cement' finally arrives on Saturday, February 17. Take a look back with sneaker historian Drew Hammell at the iconic shoe through the years.

2.14 Retro 3

2.14 Release Report: Jordan Retro 3 ‘Black Cement,’ Retro 1 ‘Gold Toe,’ + Even More!

The Jordan Retro 3 'Black Cement' headlines a loaded week. We've got the Retro 1 'Gold Toe,' Jordan Why Not Zero.1, adidas Harden Vol. 2, and Jordan AJ XXXII 'Dunk Contest' too.

EKF8 Malakai Featured

Create Your Legacy: Malakai Lewars + James Harden

Eastbay cover athlete Malakai Lewars is focused on creating his own legacy. That doesn’t mean he can’t steal some pointers from some of the game’s greatest players like James Harden, though.

James Harden On All-Star Weekend In LA, Harden Vol. 2, And More!

He's having an MVP-level season and is dropping his second signature shoe, the adidas Harden Vol. 2s — check out our Q&A with Houston star James Harden.

2.7 Jordan Retro 9

2.7 Release Report: From A New Jordan Retro 9 to the launch of Crossover Culture, Here’s What Is Dropping This Week

The Jordan Retro 9 'City of Flight' is here. So is the AJ XXXII 'Chinese New Year' and the launch of the fresh, new Crossover Culture brand.

5 Crossover Culture Featured

5 Reasons Crossover Culture Should Be Your Next Hoops Shoe

It’s new. It’s fresh. It’s a game changer. Here are 5 reasons you should hop on the Crossover Culture Movement right now.

1.31 Nike Kobe A.D.

1.31 Release Report: KD X, Kobe A.D., Dame 4, or Curry 4 – Which Signature Shoe Will You Grab?

A new Kobe A.D. The latest KD X. Plus, we've got fresh colorways of the Dame 4 and Curry 4 dropping. Check out this week's Release Report.

Crossover Culture Featured

Introducing Crossover Culture: A New Name For Today’s Game

The game has changed. The sneakers should too. That’s the idea behind Crossover Culture, the newest brand in basketball.

1.24 Release Report Jordan Retro 10

1.24 Release Report: New Jordan Retro 10s + fresh Nike signature shoes + the Nike Air Vapormax Plus

From new Jordan Retro 10s to new signature Nike basketball releases to the game-changing Nike Air Vapormax Plus, get the inside scoop on all of this week's releases.

Jordan Brand 20 Years Featured 1

A Look Back: Jordan Brand January ’98

Sneaker historian Drew Hammell takes a look back at the classic January 1998 Eastbay catalog to learn about Jordan Brand 20 years ago.

1.18 Jordan Retro 13 Featured

1.17 Release Report: A new Jordan Retro 13 + the latest Nike Air Foamposite One

The new Jordan Retro 13 or the freshest Nike Air Foamposite One? Upgrade your sneaker rotation this weekend with the latest releases.

1.10 Release Report 1 OG

1.10 Release Report: A new Jordan Retro 1 OG. Fresh Women’s SF AF 1s. Take your pick.

Our new Jordan Retro 1 High OGs and Nike SF Air Force 1s are just what you need to upgrade your kick collection in 2018.

See More