Auburn’s VanVleet has big NBA opening night

TORONTO – Fred VanVleet, the Rockford Auburn graduate who helped power the Toronto Raptors to last season’s NBA title, showed on opening night that he’s ready for an even bigger role.

The Raptors opened the NBA season Tuesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans. VanVleet, one of the NBA’s top reserves the past two seasons, will be a starter this year and he showed an international audience why, scoring a career-high 34 points to lead Toronto to a 130-122 overtime win.

VanVleet played 44 minutes and added five rebounds and seven assists. More telling, the Raptors were a team-best +18 when Fred was on the court.

VanVleet’s exposure off the court is growing as well. American Express Canada signed VanVleet to pitch its new Amex Business Edge Card. It shows how VanVleet is working to build his “Bet On Yourself” brand and he shows his hometown pride by wearing a “Rockford” t-shirt during the shoot.


Posted on 10.24.19