Rockford's native son Fred VanVleet made his mark in the NBA as a rookie last season, playing playoff minutes for the Toronto Raptors, completing a journey that began as an undrafted free agent. His second offseason as a professional has seen him leaving a lasting imprint on his hometown.
VanVleet's three-day basketball camp and Fan Fest wrapped up on Sunday, with hundreds of young players taking the U-W Health Sports Factory courts to learn valuable hoops lessons. VanVleet's family and friends helped lift the camp off the ground, working as staff and coaches, giving the camp a true hometown feel.
Additionally, many campers were sponsored by members of the Rockford community. It's all part of VanVleet's mission to bring his city together.
"It just shows what I've believed, that there are good people here. We have to do a better job of giving them opportunities to be good people, finding ways to do that, finding ways to help each other," said the Raptors guard.
"The homegrown guy like Fred, the support he shows to his city and our youth is great," said fellow Rockfordian Marcus Posley.
"Everyone that's assisting in the camp has been with us since the beginning, or they've played with Fred throughout his career," said Fred's mother Susan Danforth.
"We've seen the success and potential that is there out of our community, we just have to find different ways to create opportunities," said VanVleet.