With an NBA Rookie of the Year award and multiple all-star appearances under his belt, Portland Trail Blazers Point Guard Damian Lillard is one of the NBA's biggest stars. I caught up with Lillard on Nov. 17 for an exclusive interview about his role in the Week of Greatness, the big lifestyle change he made during the offseason, and how his faith impacts the way he approaches basketball.

Lillard spoke first on the Week of Greatness, which is a movement designed to celebrate FootLocker's ongoing commitment to helping the community by performing physical acts of greatness. The program was a natural fit for the 27-year old NBA star, who said he was drawn to take part because he always wants to give back and "be of service to other people."

Lillard encouraged the public to join him in the outreach effort by donating shoes that will be delivered to hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico in the near future.

"I feel like it's only right that I be part of it and that I also help to call other people to action and to be a part of it as well," he said. Lillard himself donated 500 pairs of his own shoes to the effort and spoke with Portland-area teens about the importance of giving [VIDEO] back. To take part in the effort, visit a FootLocker store.

Damian Lillard praises vegan diet

In addition to spending the NBA offseason "focused on everything and trying to tighten up my game and stay sharp in every area," Lillard also made a big lifestyle change that helped him to start the new season in high gear when he chose to adopt a vegan diet. He touted the benefits of his new diet, noting that he's dropped to a lower weight and has experienced fewer issues with his joints and an oft-injured foot since making the change.

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He said he feels "healthier" and has "better energy," which in turn makes him a better defender and helps him with his offensive game as well.

Faith and the NBA

He also took a few moments to address how his Christian faith impacts his approach to basketball. He said his faith makes him "thankful" for many things, including his natural talents, his health, and the family into which he was born. "It's also a reminder that the way that I feel and the way that I think is right," he said. "I feel like I behave in the right way [despite outside pressures that can affect professional athletes] and a lot of that is because of my faith."

For more information on the Week of Greatness, visit a FootLocker store. To see the full interview, watch the embedded video.