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Wildcat grads break into the major leagues

After stepping off of Weber State University’s campus for the last time, many lives are just beginning. When it comes to athletes, this is a time of change.

For many, it’s the end of their dream of playing, turning a lifelong passion into a hobby as they grow and join the ranks of those in the real world.

But for a select few, they will continue to play and try to make their marks across the vast landscape of professional sports.

Mike Hardy for Weber State’s track and field. (Source: Weber State Athletics)

First among these athletes is former Weber State track and field star Mike Hardy.

Since his college track and field career at Weber State ended after the 2015 season, Hardy has picked up a full-time job in engineering, while also attempting to make the United States 2016 Olympic track and field team in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Hardy lost after tripping in the 3000-meter steeplechase during the Olympic Trials in

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Senior Center Back Devonte Johnson tackles an opponent in a game against Southern Utah University in Fall 2015. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

On the gridiron is former Wildcat football member Devonte Johnson. After going undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft, Johnson was picked up by the Atlanta Falcons and will attempt to make the team throughout training camp and preseason.

When it comes to Weber State athletics, the program is well regarded for its work on the hardwood.

First in the line of active Wildcats playing pro-basketball is
Damian Lillard, the NBA Rookie of the Year from 2012 and superstar point guard for the Portland Trail Blazers.

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Damian Lillard goes for the basket in the Weber State University alumni game in Fall 2015. (Gabe Cerritos / The Signpost)

Lillard was the No. 6 pick in the NBA Draft and has become a two-time NBA All-Star. He has also been named to the NBA second and third teams while making the playoffs the last three years for Portland.

Despite his post-college success, he still thinks highly of the school and of Ogden.

“I give a lot of credit to Weber State, our coaching staff, a lot of the staff on campus and the people around Ogden,” Lillard said. “I was a kid when I came there, and I left as a man. A lot of that was on behalf of the people I came across there holding me accountable and teaching me things that I didn’t know before.”

After Lillard came his point guard successor, Davion Berry.

Davion Berry plays in the Spring 2014 Big Sky Championship game. (The Signpost Archives)

Since leaving, Berry has played professionally for several teams in several different countries.

After going undrafted in 2014, Berry signed with PMS Torino of the Serie A2 Gold in Italy. He played in 19 games before signing with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA D-League.

The following season, Berry started with the Changwon LG Sakers of the Korean Basketball League before being released to sign with the Maine Red Claws once again.

In March of 2016, Berry was traded away from the Red Claws to join the Raptors 905.

After Berry came Joel Bolomboy, who was picked in the second round of the NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – JULY 07: of the Utah Jazz of the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2016 Jazz Summer League at vivint.SmartHome Arena on July 07, 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

Bolomboy played well in the NBA Summer League as he looks to make the Jazz roster to start the season. If Bolomboy make the team, he will almost certainly be coming off the bench, which he hasn’t done regularly since his freshman year and hasn’t done at all since his sophomore season.

No matter what happens in the future for these Wildcats, they will always be able to say that they followed their dreams and competed at the highest

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