The Raptors’ Fred Vanvleet gets selected in the NBA All-star for the first time in his career, and in doing so becomes the 5th ever undrafted player to have made it to the NBA All-star. His story inspires many to come and to keep dreaming and never take no for an answer.
Fred VanVleet – The Undrafted All-Star
Fred Vanvleet who played for the Wichita State for four seasons and averaged 10.2 points, 4.5 assists in just 102 starts, the numbers are not that interesting but when his college career came to an end he ranked #1 All-time school history in assists with 637 and Steals 225. He became a focal point in his team’s success and put the name of Wichita State on the map.
When Fred made up his mind to enter into the 2016 NBA draft, he was brimming with confidence that he will get selected in the first round, his confidence was so high that he threw a party in order to hear his name and celebrate the news with his family and friends, to his disappointment his name was never called out. What Fred said was a strong mental preparation to make it big in the NBA, “Obviously I’m disappointed, but my story doesn’t end here it’s just the beginning. It wouldn’t really make sense for me if I did get picked. I’ve been against the odds my whole life and it’s not going to stop now.” Told Fred.
Fred Vanvleet joins the Toronto Raptors
Things didn’t end there for Fred when Toronto Raptors came calling, and both parties agreed on a two-year deal. Fred was added to the NBA summer league in 2016 in Las Vegas. Vanvleet started establishing himself as a reliable backup player. After the Summer league concluded he graduated to a two-year deal with the Raptors, but was way down in the pecking order, he went to the G-League in 2017 and proved his presence and determination to run a team and pull clutch moments for the Raptors 905. He averaged 22 points and 11.5 assists, which showed that he was ready for the big step to the NBA.
Fast forward two years he won the NBA title with the raptors in 2019!! With now free agency lurking around he became a heavily sought-after player in the market, however, Toronto Raptors resigned him and offered him a contract which got him in the history books as the biggest contract for an undrafted free agent, $85 Million for four years.
It all went to plan for Fred Vanvleet when he got selected in the 2021-22 NBA All-star team for the first time in his career. He became the fifth undrafted player to be selected in the NBA and only the eighth player in the Raptors history to be selected. Fred Vanvleet after the Raptors faced the Chicago Bulls, “I’m just proud, humbled and honored to be selected, first and foremost,Obviously, you guys know how I feel about myself and the will and confidence that I’ve had to have over the course of my life and my career. To be recognized like that is a special moment for me and my family and all the people that have been part of the journey along the way.”
Fred VanVleet’s story may look like a fairy-tale on the face of it, but make no mistakes he is where he has worked for all his life, he keeps inspiring young basketball players to never give up and to never settle for anything less than what one deserves, he has inspired a lot year on, those players who are undrafted, who face such disappointment and give up mentally, Fred Vanvleet is a living legend for them and a real-life example to look up to!