A 28-year-old warehouse worker from Tigard has won the #RipCitySuperFan contest.
Will Granville is delighted to collect $1,977, a customer Trail Blazers jersey, and two courtside tickets to tonight’s Blazers-76ers game at Moda Center.
Just a few minutes on the phone with Will revealed what sets him apart from the average fan: his lifelong uber-passion for Blazers basketball.
Will grew up in Portland and was introduced to sports as a child by his uncle John.
“I’ve been addicted to basketball ever since I was little,” Will said. “I got a toy Blazers basketball from McDonald’s one day, and everywhere I went, I dribbled that ball.”
Will was born in 1987, and by the time he had learned to dribble, the Blazers – 1977 NBA champions – peaked again, reaching the NBA finals in 1990 and 1992. He remembers watching Portland greats like Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter, Jerome Kersey, and coach Rick Adelman.
Will also notes with pride that he and a later Trail Blazers star, Damon Stoudamire, attended the same high school, Woodrow Wilson in southwest Portland.
Basketball consumed Will’s life, as a fan and player. He competed in rec leagues as a youth, and when each school year ended he played ball at the park all summer.
“Basketball brings me joy,” he said. “I still play whenever I get the chance.”
The Blazers soared and sagged over the years, but Will’s passion never dimmed. Elite players came and went – Scottie Pippen, Arvydas Sabonis, Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge. In 2012, Portland drafted Will’s all-time favorite, Damian Lillard.
“He carries the team,” said Will. “He’s my favorite player, past and present.”
Will wears his Blazer pride everywhere he goes.
“I have multiple jerseys, shirts, hats, other Blazer merchandise,” he said. “I always wear it when I’m traveling.”
So does his wife, Shanika, and their 8-month-old daughter, La-Nieya. Shanika contracted Blazermania years ago and is excited to join Will tonight in their courtside seats.
“I also have a ‘Rip City’ tattoo on my ankle inside an Oregon outline,” Will said. “Getting that hurt a lot. But it was worth it.”
The Trail Blazers and PEMCO agree that Will best exemplifies the spirit of team, fans, and community. For that, he’s our #RipCitySuperFan and hopes to enjoy a Sixers blowout tonight.