Damian Lillard meets WWII veteran who is a die-hard Blazers fan - KPTV - FOX 12

Damian Lillard meets WWII veteran who is a die-hard Blazers fan

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(KPTV/Nick Krupke) (KPTV/Nick Krupke)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A World War II Marine Corps veteran who is a huge fan of Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard got to meet the basketball star before Wednesday's game.

The Hometown Hero is always a powerful moment at Portland Trail Blazers games. During each regular season home game a new hero is honored.

On Wednesday night, 93-year-old Marine WWII veteran Elmer Ballard of Sherwood got more than just a standing ovation. He got to meet Lillard.

"I've been wanting to do this for a long time," said Ballard.

A caretaker at Ballard's assisted living facility made a video saying that all Ballard wants for his 94th birthday is to meet Lillard. Then more than 2,800 likes and 1,200 retweets later, Ballard's birthday wish came true.

"Him being a World War II veteran, just the level of respect and the fact that he wanted to meet me and it actually got to me. It came across my social media. I just wanted to make it happen," said Lillard.

The memory of meeting Lillard will be with Ballard for the rest of his life, and it will stick with Lillard too.

"Real cool, man. You got a guy who is much older than I am that has some level of respect or admiration for, not just what I do as an athlete but what I am able to do off the floor, so it's much appreciated that he recognizes some of the things that I do that he should be the one being recognized for what he's done," Lillard said.

While Lillard is Ballard's current favorite player, his all-time favorite Blazers star is Clyde Drexler. And his favorite team is the '77 World Champs.

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