Rockford, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Fred VanVleet is back home here in Rockford. And next week he’ll be reaching out to the community as only he can. He’ll be holding his Fred VanVleet Fest and youth camp.
It’s been two years since the Fred VanVleet Fest was in Rockford, but the wait is over. The Rockford native and NBA all-star is bringing the three-part series back next weekend.
“To be able to be back out here in the gym and get the kids back out and let them run around a little bit. You know, we’ve had success with these events and I’m looking forward to doing it again,” said Fred VanVleet in a press conference Thursday.
This year, the event will change location and move over to VanVleet’s old stomping grounds, Auburn High School. It’s bound to be a nostalgic weekend for sure.
“It was important for me to include my alma mater and go back there and spend some time there for sure.”
The series will include bowling on opening night, followed by night two of fun at Auburn High School for the 3-point and dunk contests. Then Saturday and Sunday will be when the real work comes in. It’s the summer camp where kids will get to have some fun on the court and receive training from both VanVleet and the rest of his staff.
“It’s just good to get people in the gym for something positive, give the kids something to do and something to look forward to.”
For Fred, hosting basketball camps for kids brings him back to when he was that age.
“It’s one of my favorite things to do. Camps and basketball camps especially, it was a big part of my childhood, so it’s something that’s close to my heart.”
And giving back especially has always been important to him, never forgetting the community where he grew up.
“It just comes from my family, my upbringing. Being from here and growing up in Rockford, I carry that with me every day, and so it’s important to me to do what I can.”
So what is he most looking forward to next weekend? Maybe the craziness of it all.
“I just like the chaos, I just like the chaos. It’s a big open gym, funhouse type of event and you see a lot of kids laughing and running around and having fun.
All proceeds made will go directly to the VanVleet Family Foundation for future events such as this one and for other charitable ventures in the community.