PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Trail Blazers hope their choice of another four-year graduate from a small university works out as well as Damian Lillard.
C.J. McCollum made his Portland debut Monday, days after being the top draft pick of the Trail Blazers. McCollum, a point guard from Lehigh, looks like a good fit with Lillard, the NBA’s Rookie of the Year.
McCollum is out to prove he belongs in the same class.
Blazers officials flanked McCollum at an afternoon press conference and displayed his No. 3 jersey. He said Portland is where he wanted to go in the draft.
“The biggest thing when you’re coming out of college is you want to go where you’re wanted,” McCollum said. “You don’t want to be somebody’s second option or third option, where they’re looking at the board and they’re like ‘Oh, he’s there let’s take him,’ you want to be like, ‘Oh, he’s there, that’s the guy.’ And I feel like it’s a situation where they wanted me and I wanted them. It was mutual love.”
He said it took him years to hit a growth spurt which made him work harder to stand out. Now he’s in the NBA.
McCollum and the Blazer Youth Corps assemble for their first practice Tuesday before heading off to start the Vegas Summer League on Saturday.