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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Bobcats’ Keljin Blevins plays through heartache with help of Damian Lillard

Aunica Koch SWX
As Keljin Blevins throws down dunks for the Bobcats, only a few people really know why he plays with such heart. “I was at Southern Miss,” said senior forward Keljin Blevins. “It was my freshman year and I lost my dad to a heart attack. He was a big part of my life, my whole life raising me…great guy, great man.” Though it was the middle of conference, Blevins took off a few weeks to support his family. He needed them as much as they needed him. “I feel like he just made me become a way better man,” Blevins added. “I thought my dad was superman and nothing would ever happen to him. It made me a way better person and just gave me a different perspective on life.” Though everything changed in the blink of an eye and continued changing as Blevins made his way to Montana State, the one constant was always his cousin, Damian Lillard. “Dam(ian) was always there. Even when my dad was here, he was still there,” said Blevins of the Portland Trailblazer. “He just kind of stepped in and has been that role model for me ever since. We grew and had a bond that now unbreakable and he’s more like my brother.”

Aunica Koch / SWX

The pair train together in the summer and talk everyday when Lillard is on the road with the NBA. “The biggest thing that he’s probably taught me is playing at a slower pace and being confident in everything I do on the court and just being the best player that I can be.” The pair’s connection is also obvious to men’s basketball head coach Brain Fish. “He’s playing very well and I’m happy for him, but I’m happy for him because Keljin does everything that we ask him as a program to do to be a good person, to be a good player, to be a good teammate.” As he took over caring for his family, that dynamic also shifted onto the court. “Just being there for my other brothers on the team - Tyler, Harry - just being that big brother and bringing what I learned from what happened to me to them has been big,” said Blevins. “Everybody understands everybody and we’re like a family.” As Blevins’ senior season is getting shorter by the game, he’s starting to think about his path aligned with Lillard’s. “I definitely want to follow in his footsteps,” Blevins added. “Playing at a level like that would be amazing and I’ve always dreamed of it. If that’s what God has planned for me, then that’s what I want to do.”