Trail Blazers

Trail Blazers rookie CJ Elleby excited to be 'where Brandon Roy played'

Trail Blazers

Every young basketball player dreams about hearing his name called during the NBA Draft.

For soon-to-be Trail Blazers rookie CJ Elleby that moment was even more special because he was selected by his favorite team from childhood. 

"The Trail Blazers have been a team I have loved since I was a kid," explained Elleby Thursday afternoon, one day after hearing his name called.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon!]

Elleby, a Seattle native, was young when the Seattle Supersonics relocated to Oklahoma City leaving Portland as the only NBA franchise in the Pacific Northwest. But that's not the only reason why Elleby was a Blazers fan.

"I've always looked at the Trail Blazers as [my] team... just because of Garfield legend and Trail Blazers legend Brandon Roy who has been a coach in the metro league these last few years.

"Growing up and hearing stories about him and seeing this legacy that he left behind and that he's continuing to live, it was just inspiring... I watched his highlights and I'm going to watch them actually after we get off this call."

Brandon Roy was drafted sixth overall during the 2006 NBA Draft and was traded to Portland, where he had a great career before needing to medically retire: Three-time NBA All-Star, two-time All-NBA selection, Rookie of the Year and more in just five seasons with the team. 

 

The legacy left behind may have been greater than any single accomplishment on the court and count Elleby as one of Roy's many fans. 

To Elleby, Portland was always "where Brandon Roy played."

Elleby also said had he gone undrafted, which many mock drafts projected him going, he would have wanted to go to Portland first and foremost for the team's reputation for developing second round picks. Recent examples include Allen Crabbe, Jake Layman, Pat Connaughton, and Gary Trent Jr.  

An additional benefit to being headed to Rip City is the Washington State product gets to stay in the Pacific Northwest.

"I'm super excited. I think my family loves it. Obviously I love it, I don't have to be too far away from them and they can come visit me very easily. It's great to still be in the Pacific Northwest because this is where I've grown up. 

"It's just a blessing."

Now, it's time to follow in Elleby's footsteps and put on some Roy highlights.