PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Damian Lillard certainly has some thoughts on the culture of youth basketball currently. Instead of griping about it, he decided to do something.

This week he’s hosting his Formula Zero camp for the first time ever in Beaverton, bringing some of the top talent in the country to the Portland area. His goals for his camp though go beyond just improving the players’ basketball skills.

“What we wanted to share with these kids is that we’re going to push you guys to be better athletes and better basketball players, but what’s going to make you guys successful in life and make you guys successful as professionals, if that day does come, is not just going to be your talent or your ability because everybody has that. It’s going to be the other things. Your character, your work ethic, how you treat people, how coachable you are,” said Lillard.

The NBA guard was obviously passionate about his cause on Friday, speaking for 25 minutes with the media after a grand total of seven questions asked.

“I’ve seen interviews from kids in high school when somebody’s asking them, ‘What team would you like to play for?’ And they’re like, ‘I want to go to a good situation where the ball is in my hands.’ I would’ve never said that as a kid. I would’ve been like, ‘I want to win a national championship,’ so it’s just different. This camp is about changing that type of thought process. There’s no humility. There’s a lot of fake humility where people know how to play the role, but they don’t have people around them who are showing them how to be humble and how to handle stuff so it’s just natural,” Lillard said.

Lillard says that many of these young athletes are surrounded by yes men, who get these players to the top and then watch them ultimately fall because they have never been challenged. He’s hoping this camp at least influences these kids to assess the culture around them.

“Everybody has a manager and a handler and an agent and people who are hanging on to you because they feel like you’ve got a chance to make it. I see it over and over and over. It’s not affecting them in their route to getting to the NBA or their route to being a professional because it’s a lot easier to make it to the NBA now, but it’s a lot harder to stay,” Lillard explained.

He added “All of these people hanging on to them and … putting them in a position where they feel entitled, and their mentality is messed up about what it’s going to be and having to earn stuff and having to work and taking criticism and listening and being coachable and stuff like that. Those things, it lets them down when they get in a professional environment, and their talent can’t get them through. You’ve got to be stable and strong mentally. You’ve got to be sturdy and have something to stand on because it gets tough for all of us. Not just young players, even the best players. I want to help these kids. A lot of them are ranked and have a lot of followers on Instagram, but I want to help them have the stuff that’s not just a talent. It’s not given to them,” said Lillard.

Lillard says it’s taken two and a half years for him to put his vision into action and refused to do this camp until he knew he could do it in the way he wanted.

That also meant making sure that all the counselors at the camp were people who genuinely helped make him better. Counselors on hand included Chris Kaman, Kaleb Canales, and David Vanderpool.

In Lillard’s eyes, this camp is really about them.

“The reason why we named it Formula Zero is because it’s something that we discovered to be a formula just from things that I’ve collected or gotten from a lot of people throughout my life. People who coached me or people who just a had an impact on my life or sharing something with me or pushed me to be a certain way and do certain things that I didn’t figure out on my own. I told the campers, I said, Formula Zero isn’t about how great I am or me being perfect or me being a goodie two shoes because I’m not … It’s more about the people who I am a product of,” said Lillard.

And those people created an NBA All-Star who is insistent on making his legacy continue on the court for years to come.

“I’m not the most talented, I’m 6’2, I don’t jump out the gym. There are more talented and gifted players out there, but it would be hard for y’all to find somebody who’s sharper and more disciplined than me mentally and somebody that’s tougher and sharper and better and more compassionate than me in their heart. That’s stuff that’s been put into me my whole life that people encouraged. That’s all a part of this camp that makes me different than my peers, in my opinion,” said Lillard. “If I can get all these people and myself to pass that on to these kids now when they’re tenth grade, eleventh grade, twelfth grade, starting college and that gives them a better chance going forward, why not do it?… What makes me happy and what I get my most joy from is being able to help other people and do something that I know has a positive impact on people. That’s ultimately what pushed it to happen.”