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Damian Lillard’s old friend from Oakland solidifying his skills as a coach in Portland

Damian Lillard’s old friend from Oakland solidifying his skills as a coach in Portland
Damian Lillard’s old friend from Oakland solidifying his skills as a coach in Portland(KPTV)
Updated: Jan. 29, 2018 at 11:51 AM PST
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - Damian Lillard has been a brother-in-arms with his same tight-knit group of friends from back in his hometown of Oakland.

Now one of those friends is making a name for himself on another level of hoops in Portland.

Dondrale Campbell is the head coach of the boys basketball program at Cleveland High School.

“‘Drale, that’s one of my best friends,” Lillard said. “When he came to Portland, he actually lived with me.”

Lillard said their friendship goes back to the sixth grade.

“Dame knew what time I was getting on the bus, what stop,” Campbell said. “I knew if he wasn’t going to be on the bus.”

The pair said they kept each other in check.

“He’s one of the guys in high school that used to get on me about my grades, to get my stuff going in the right direction,” Lillard said. “You know that he is going to do all of the right things for the kids and the program is not about him. Anytime someone like that can be around the program, you know that’s going to be for the best.”

Campbell’s path to coaching started as an assistant at South Puget Sound Community College, then guiding the freshmen and JV teams under Marshall Cho at Lake Oswego.

Recently, Lillard joined Campbell on the bench for a Cleveland High School game.

“He’s just a loyal person. Portland has been loyal to him and been welcoming and so much fun and just this atmosphere here, he loves it,” Campbell said. “I think he’ll be here forever. I know he’ll be here forever.”