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 NBA draft after turning down two lacklustre 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 recruiting him in the second round. It was a tough pill to swallow for the young player who always dreamed of being picked.
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 say 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.
@CJToledano @FredVanVleet respect to an NBA champion https://t.co/qmd9mTyGqW— SOLID SNAKE (@SOLID SNAKE) 1561078289
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.
@CJToledano “My story don’t end here. It’s just the beginning.” Yupppppp!— Phil Poling (@Phil Poling) 1561079422
Given how far VanVleet has come, fans were loving the powerful video.
@CJToledano @FredVanVleet man this is just...from this to cold-blooded killer in the finals...legend.— 🏀 (@🏀) 1561070983
It’s hard to imagine that VanVleet could’ve had such a 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.