Auburn High School hosted a jersey retirement ceremony honoring former Knight Fred VanVleet, hanging his #23 uniform in the Auburn gymnasium, never to be issued to a boys basketball player again.
Friends, family, and coaches attended the ceremony, which VanVleet could not attend due to prior commitments. However, he did send a video message to the ceremony, thanking everyone who helped him reach the NBA, where he's currently enjoying second season success with the Toronto Raptors.
"I'd have never thought in a million years I'd have my high school jersey retired," VanVleet said in the message. "It's an unbelievable feeling, and truly an honor."
"If anybody earned it, he did," said Fred's father Joe Danforth. "Of all the players that came out of Rockford, he totally earned the honor of having his jersey retired."
"We're talking about the greatest player in Rockford basketball history," said Auburn head coach Bryan Ott. "Given the magnitude of what he's meant to our program and this city, and what he's continuing to do as a pro...it's such a phenomenal thing. We feel it's more than warranted to honor him in this way."