Every great sports hero has had to overcome some sort of obstacle to get where they are today. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, Kawhi Leonard lost his father to a shooting, Muhammad Ali fought against the heightened racial prejudices of the ’60s to become the greatest of all time. It’s not easy to become a legend, it takes hard work, guts, and perseverance and that’s something Fred VanVleet knows all too well, according to this NBA draft video.
A video of the Raptors star overcoming one of his obstacles recently resurfaced on Twitter. Back in 2016, Fred VanVleet went undrafted during the 2016 draft after turning down two lackluster offers to play in the NBA’s Development League.
The proposal was $20,000 for two years, made by teams who might be interested in drafting him in the second round. It was a tough pill to swallow for the young player who always dreamed of being drafted.
What made the devastating blow even worse is the fact that VanVleet was at a draft party when he got the news. He had to stand up in front of his friends and family and tell everyone the bad news. He had to tell that not only was he not going to be in the NBA but also that the offers they had given him were the kind the league extended to low-level players.
Flash forward to 2019 and VanVleet is an NBA Champion considered to be an integral part of helping the Raptors take home their first ever Larry O’Brien Trophy. He couldn’t be farther away from the NBA reject he was three years ago; he made a fool out of those who doubted him and proved that investing in yourself is powerful.
Given how far VanVleet has come, fans were loving the powerful video.
It’s hard to imagine that VanVleet could’ve had such humble beginning given the player he is today, but it’s all the more inspiring to see where he came from and what he rose above.