WW2 vet meets Damian Lillard, ‘best I ever saw’

Elmer Ballard and Damian Lillard will meet before the Orlando game

World War II veteran Elmer Ballard, 93, is a die-hard Blazers fan. He'll meet Damian Lillard on Nov. 15, 2017 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — You can learn a lot about Elmer Ballard by taking one look at him.

It starts at the top where Ballard rocks a World War II Veteran hat, complete with an American flag pin in the middle. Then, you get to his varsity-style jacket, where Ballard literally wears his fanhood on his sleeves.

Ballard, in his own words, is a great Portland Trail Blazers fan. He’s been watching games since before the 1977 NBA Championship season. He can’t go to many games — he says they’re too expensive — but you can count on him tuning in from his brown couch adorned with a red-and-black Blazers blanket.

Damian Lillard meets with WWII veteran Elmer Ballard, 93, and Ballard’s daughter before the Blazers game against Orland on Nov. 15, 2017 (KOIN)

He’s also a huge fan of Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, and on Wednesday, before Portland’s game against Orlando, Ballard met the star who “can hit those 3-pointers like crazy.”

“He was great,” Ballard said. “Best thing I ever saw, I think — and I spent a month in Alaska.”

Lillard was also very appreciative of his time with Ballard.

“This is coming from a much different level,” Lillard said, “like I said with him being an older guy, a World War II veteran.”

The Vital Life Foundation helped make the meeting possible.