Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard returned to his high school on Friday to throw an adidas party Oakland won’t soon forget.
Lillard returned to Oakland High to celebrate the release of of the Dame 3, his third signature shoe with adidas.
But the party wasn’t just for his kicks—Lillard and adidas teamed up to renovate the school’s gym and build a state-of-the-art recording studio for its music program among over improvements.
Hundreds of Oakland High students were treated to a concert featuring Fetty Wap, Lil Uzi Very and DJ Esco. Lillard also took the stage to address the crowd, and his high school jersey was retired in a surprise ceremony.
Lillard also helped Oakland High renovate its weight room, which now features new equipment and a quote from Lillard on the wall.
Lillard explained how important Oakland High was to him in his rise Here’s what Lilard said in a story from the Oregonian.
Lillard had gone to two different high schools as a freshman and sophomore. He wasn’t a bad kid, but he was straying off the path. At Oakland High, basketball coaches Orlando Watkins and Will Lew helped steer Lillard in the right direction, challenging him to show to up to school on time, attend study hall and take his classes seriously.
He had always been committed to basketball but coming to Oakland High was the turning point that jumpstarted Lillard’s rise to superstardom.
“I came here and I was more comfortable,” he said. “I was around love. It was probably the best decision of my life.”
The party was part of Lillard’s All Rise campaign, which supports different communities Lillard has touched throughout his career. Oakland High, Lillard said, was the place where he learned to focus on basketball and started his career ascent. Now hundreds of students at his alma mater have benefited from that rise.