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Damian Lillard’s Weber State basketball Alumni Classic returns in June; notebook

By Brett Hein - Standard-Examiner | May 9, 2023

Damian Lillard brings the ball up the court during the fourth Weber State Basketball Alumni Classic on Aug. 20, 2021, at the Dee Events Center in Ogden. (Robert Casey, Weber State Athletics)

The next Weber State Basketball Alumni Classic is on tap for this summer and the event, hosted by Damian Lillard, is being moved up in hopes of allowing current overseas pros to play in the game.

The fifth Alumni Classic is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 17, at the Dee Events Center. It will begin with shooting contests and the 3-point shootout, and be followed by the alumni game. Lillard has hosted the event every other year since 2015 and, for the first time, suited up and played in the game in 2021.

"It's always a pleasure to be back. I think everybody knows how much pride I take in being a Weber State Wildcat," Lillard said after the last iteration of the game. "Being able to put this event together is important to not just me, but all the alumni and everybody who was able to be part of it. It's always a great time getting together with the guys."

Full rosters will be announced later but currently confirmed for the evening are first-time participants Scott Bamforth, Kyndahl Hill and Isiah Brown. Davion Berry and Kyle Tresnak are back for the first time since 2015 and Harold Arceneaux, Jimmy DeGraffenried, Lance Allred, Kyle Bullinger, Ryan Cuff, Dezmon Harris, David Patten and Ryan Richardson are slated to participate.

Weber State women's alumni will also participate in the evening.

Lillard is a seven-time NBA All-Star, an Olympic gold medalist and was named to the NBA's 75th anniversary team last year as one of the league's 75 best players of all time.

In 2021, Lillard scored 41 points in his Alumni Classic game debut but his Purple team was bested by the white team led by Cody John's 22 points.

WOMEN'S HOOPS ADDS A FORWARD

Weber State women's basketball has added a third transfer commitment this offseason in fifth-year senior Sierra Davis. Davis posted her commitment to Instagram last week.

Davis is a Provo native and will finish her career at Weber State as a graduate transfer. The 6-foot-2 forward played two junior college seasons at College of Southern Idaho and then two at Division II University of Charleston in West Virginia, winning conference titles at both stops.

In 2021-22, Davis averaged 9.3 points and 5.2 rebounds while shooting 48.5% from the field. She joins Southern Utah/Westminster transfer guard Rita Satini as incoming graduate transfers and joins returning players Daryn Hickok, Jadyn Matthews and Laura Taylor in a group of five fifth-year seniors for new head coach Jenteal Jackson.

WSU previously added guard Kennedy Eskelson, a Smithfield native who played two seasons at Snow College and a third at College of Southern Idaho.

In other roster news, guard Nakilah Johnson entered her name in the transfer portal. Johnson scored 57 points in 55 career games over two seasons at Weber State.

WSU should currently have one scholarship remaining for next season. The postseason transfer portal period, in which outgoing first-time transfers can be immediately eligible next season, closes Thursday.

TENNIS WINS MVP, COACH OF YEAR

Weber State women's tennis, who won this year's Big Sky Conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history, pulled in significant individual postseason hardware.

Senior player Ana Morett was named Big Sky MVP, leading the Wildcats from the No. 1 singles spot to the conference title. She's WSU's first women's tennis MVP since Lenka Zacharova won the honor in 2000 and 2001.

Coach RuthAnn Allen won Big Sky coach of the year for the second consecutive season. She is the first Weber State coach to win back-to-back coach honors since Keith Cox in 1993-94.

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