by Brayden Evensen
On Friday, August 20, 2021, Weber State University held its annual basketball alumni game at the Dee Events Center. The evening started out with an autograph session with former alumni Damian Lillard from 5-6:30 PM.
The regular events began afterwards with a three-point shooting contest. Nic Sparrow and Eddie Gill were the finalists, and Gill came away with the honors. He hit 17 shots from downtown to beat out Sparrow.
The three-point contest was followed by the shooting stars contest, where the alumni were divided into six different teams. Each team had to make a layup, a shot from the free throw line, a three-pointer, and a half court shot in the shortest amount of time possible. The team of Kyle Bullinger, Mike Sivulich, and Nick Hansen ended up winning the event with a time of 15 seconds.
Following the shooting stars contest, it was time for the alumni game, featuring Weber State Alumni from the team’s history. Current men’s basketball coach Randy Rahe coached the purple team, while the white team was coached by former Weber State coach Joe Cravens and current associate head coach Eric Duft. Even though it was just a friendly competition, fans got to see former Wildcats relive their glory days. It was a tightly contested game throughout the first half, with both teams being neck and neck at halftime. The second half was a back and forth battle, with both teams trading the lead. With only a few seconds left, and the white team leading 93-92, Lillard had a chance to win the game for the purple team, but his three-pointer was off target.
As one might expect, Lillard was the leading scorer in the alumni game. He finished with a total of 41 points and 11 made three-pointers. He also had 11 rebounds and 4 steals. He also played the entire 40 minutes of the game.
Lillard was one of the leading scorers in the NBA last season, averaging almost 30 points a game for the Portland Trailblazers. It was no surprise to see him raining threes in an exhibition game, and once again thrilling Weber State fans.
The Weber State Alumni game was once again a success. Fans came out in droves to see their former favorite players have a chance to shine in the spotlight again on that night. Adding to the excitement was the fact that tickets were only seven dollars and free for current Weber State students. Based on the success of this year’s basketball alumni game, hopefully the game will get to be played every year. That way, the fans have something extra to enjoy before the basketball season begins.
Featured image courtesy Weber State Athletics