Van Vleet Speaks at Auburn's Graduation

By WTVO WQRF Newsroom

Published 05/30 2014 07:59AM

Updated 05/30 2014 09:03AM

ROCKFORD- Families wait in the stands, as their Knights in cap and gown, flood the hallways. A memorable day filled with singing and jokes, plus a familiar face, who, along with these grads, remembers how special a time this is.

"To be honest with you sometimes it's about turning down for a second. Y'all want to stay turned up all the time, but it's not gonna get it done!" says Fred Van Vleet.

The young basketball star who led Wichita State to an undefeated season- wanted these grads to know where his home... and his heart is.

Van Vleet says "for nothing else, just for them to see my face and let them know I'm here. I'm far away as far as college goes. But in spirit I'm always here. I'm a Rockford native. I'm a grad from Auburn".   

Fred is motivated to help other African American men pursue their dreams. "There's another route you can take. And there's not to many people trying to give them that dream and sell them that hope. That's actually coming through! Everybody wants to tell them want to do but nobody wants to show them how to do it. And that's what I'm trying to do.

A message these grads welcomed with open arms.

"Black males don't get to this point, so to see me get to this point, it's kind of special" says Sr. Damarcus Belcher.

Christopher Hernandez says, "he's like a great role model. Like you can do something better. You know hard work dedication".

And for Damarcus, it's all about making his family proud and setting a fine example. "No ones else doing it, within my family. Like generations before, you have to set standards. I cant' have my kids not graduating. I got to do it".

Christopher Hernandez last words were, "class of 2014, we made it"!

Van Vleet added not every Stateline hopeful has to aspire to play basketball or even go to college, but simply focus on pursuing their dreams.

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