It was a rough start to the basketball season for Fred Van Vleet, but he’s back on top of the Missouri Valley Conference now both team-wise and individually.
Tuesday he was named the winner of the Larry Bird Award. That goes to the MVP of the Missouri Valley Conference. The Rockford Auburn graduate received 24 out of 45 first place votes to easily win the honor.
It’s the second time in three years that he’s won the award.
“It’s been a long journey obviously this year. It’s been a lot of hard work and discipline and sacrifice,” said Van Vleet during a press conference Tuesday. “I think this one means a little bit more.”
Van Vleet was held back by hamstring and ankle injuries early in the season. He missed four games and the Shockers got out of the gate slowly. But they’ve since won the regular season MVC championship. Van Vleet leads the conference in assists and free throw percentage. He’s second in three-point percentage. He’s third in steals.