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Van Vleet Inspires Next Group of Top Athletes

Young athletes in Rockford are looking up to Fred Van Vleet, and they hope to have similar success.
ROCKFORD-At the moment Fred Van Vleet is the most well-known name in Rockford sports. That's what a Final Four appearance, an undefeated season, and getting your picture on the cover of Sports Illustrated can do for an athlete. When other Rockford athletes see that, they become inspired to make their own mark.

"Fred what he's doing up there is amazing," says Auburn basketball player Antoine Pittman.
 
"It just gives me motivation to push harder to get to college and be a great player It's showing me that if he can do it I can do it too," says Auburn basketball player Laytwan Porter.

"This is somebody from this city that has done well for himself. That's shown what is possible and what can be done. So I think a lot of people are looking at Fred's success and are inspired by it," says Auburn basketball coach Bryan Ott.

When one Rockford athlete does well at the college level, it can open the door for other's. Over the past couple decades Rockford athletes have had a hard time getting major colleges to give them a look. Now Auburn juniors Antoine Pittman and Laytwan Porter are getting their share of attention and offers from division one colleges.

"Me and Laytwan we got our looks because of Fred, so when they hear about two other people from Rockford they get on us," says Pittman.

Boylan quarterback Demry Croft is another Rockford athlete who's being heavily recruited by division one schools.  Lutheran sophomore running back James Robinson could also have a bright future at the major college level. 

"That's what I want to do," says Robinson. "Go to a D-1 college."

Keith school volleyball star Adeja Lambert will be taking the court at Michigan this fall.  And Boylan's Brianna Weiskircher will be off to play for perhaps the number one volleyball program in the nation at Penn State.
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