Plenty Of New Faces At The 15th Annual Fan Fest

by Casey Holdahl
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After spending the better part of the last week hold up at their practice facility in Tualatin, the Trail Blazers are ready for a change of scenery.

With five days of two-a-day practices completed, the Trail Blazers will hold their 15th annual Fan Fest, presented by Toyota and Spirit Mountain Casino, Sunday afternoon at Veteran's Memorial Coliseum. Doors open at 4 p.m., with the intra-squad scrimmage scheduled for 5 p.m.

Tickets for Fan Fest are free and can be obtained by going to Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis, though some seating will be reserved for kids participating in various community-based organizations.

"It's an intimate setting," said Damian Lillard, who will be taking part in his eighth Fan Fest. "It's not like an event like the games are. Other than that, I appreciate it because growing up, being able to do stuff like that. It's a lot of kids around here and families who can't afford tickets and that's their opportunity to be the first one there and come in and be apart of something up close and personal. That's why I enjoy it the most, it's like a genuine environment."

With seven new players on the team, Fan Fest provides the first chance for those in attendance to see the likes of Kent Bazemore, Mario Hezonja and Anthony Tolliver on the court as Trail Blazers.

"Ive heard really good things about (Fan Fest)," said Bazemore, who was acquired this offseason from the Atlanta Hawks via trade. "“I’ve always admired this fan base from afar.“

While the entire team will be at the event, head coach Terry Stotts said that both Hassan Whiteside (left ankle) and Pau Gasol (left foot) will sit out the scrimmage. The status of Zach Collins (finger) is still to-be-determined, though everyone else on the roster should be cleared to participate.

Along with the scrimmage, fans will be treated to performances by the BlazerDancers, Rip City Crew, Stunt Team and Blaze the Trail Cat. Fan are encouraged to come early not only to secure a seat, but to enjoy games, prizes, and entertainment out of Veterans Memorial Coliseum prior to the scrimmage.

While attendance is free, on-site parking will be $13. Fans are encouraged to take public transportation due to another event taking place Sunday night nearby at the Moda Center.


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