Everyone’s path to success is different. Not everyone has a chance to make it to the NBA, NFL, MLB, or any other major professional sport. Some players had to work hard to make it to the point where they’re at now.
One player who worked hard ever since he came into the NBA was Fred VanVleet. VanVleet had a successful college career at Wichita State University and had hopes of hearing his name drafted. He didn’t hear his name called in the draft, but that did not stop him from pursuing his dream.
Fred VanVleet’s path to the NBA
VanVleet spent four years in college playing at Wichita State. In those four years, VanVleet transformed into a top player on a mid-major team. He contributed a lot to the team’s success, and Wichita State was known as a top basketball school.
As a freshman, VanVleet came off the bench and averaged 4.3 points per game. The next year he was implemented into the starting lineup and became a better player. He averaged 11.6 points per game as a sophomore. Though VanVleet did not put up big numbers throughout his college career, he was a competitor and knew what it took to be a winner. During his senior season, he was an AP All-America honorable mention.
VanVleet decided to enter the 2016 NBA draft, hoping that a team would take a chance on him. After not hearing his name called in the draft, he signed to play in the 2016 NBA Summer League with the Toronto Raptors. VanVleet played at a high-level during the summer league and earned a spot on the Raptors team for the upcoming season.
Fred VanVleet’s career in Toronto
Going into the 2016-17 season, VanVleet split time with the Raptors and the Raptors 905 of the G League. He was a member of the Raptors 905’s team that won the championship in April. During the next season, VanVleet saw a lot more playing time in the NBA in his second season. He was the primary backup for Kyle Lowry.
VanVleet played in 76 games during the 2017-18 season and averaged 8.6 points, 3.2 assists, and 2.4 rebounds per game. The Raptors were one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, and they had a deep team.
VanVleet’s third season was a big one for his career. That season the Raptors were able to land NBA star Kawhi Leonard who served as a big help to the team. VanVleet continued to be a key role player off the bench, and he started in a few games as well. At the conclusion of the season, VanVleet averaged 11 points, 4.8 assists, and 2.6 rebounds per game. All of those numbers were career highs. Going into playoffs, VanVleet stepped up big time. He made big plays and hit big shots for the Raptors and would help the team win its first NBA championship in franchise history.
Fred VanVleet never gave up on his dream
Going into his fourth year in the NBA, VanVleet has worked his way to get to where he’s at. Not too many people who go undrafted, have the success that he has had so far. His story serves as an inspiration to many people.
Here you have a guy who didn’t go to a Power 5 school for basketball and ended up going to a mid-major. He made the most of his opportunity and went into the NBA as an overlooked guard. Nobody wanted to take a shot with him in the draft. All he needed was that one chance, and the Raptors gave that to him. That decision that the Raptors made proved to be one of their best choices.