Rockford’s Jurassic Park overflows Monday


More than 3,500 people came to Rockford’s version of Jurassic Park to cheer on Auburn graduate Fred VanVleet as his Toronto Raptors played for the NBA championship.

ROCKFORD – Rockford’s version of Jurassic Park was packed for more than four hours Monday night as the city turned out in droves to root on Auburn graduate Fred VanVleet.

VanVleet is a key reserve for the Toronto Raptors, who had a chance to win the NBA Finals Monday night. Fred is the first Rockford Public Schools 205 player to play in the NBA since 1973 and, if Toronto can win one more game, would be the first player in NIC-10 history to win an NBA title.

Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau officials put Monday’s Jurassic Park together in less than a week and estimated that more than 3,500 people showed up to see Fred’s shot at history. It is Rockford’s version of the community party taking place outside Toronto’s arena for every playoff game.

VanVleet graduated from Auburn in 2012 after leading the Knights to third place in the IHSA Class 4A state tournament. He then went on to Wichita State, where he led the Shockers to four NCAA tournaments and one Final Four appearance.

VanVleet was not drafted after the stellar college career and signed as a free agent with Toronto. He spent much of his rookie season in the G League, the NBA’s developmental league. He progressed to being one of the league’s top reserve in the 2017-2018 season before becoming an occasional starter this year.

Fred’s play over the past eight games, since his son, Fred VanVleet Jr., was born has made him a national story.

 

A Remarkable Run
Date Score FG-FGA FT-FTA Points Reb. Asts. +/-
May 21 Raptors 120, Bucks 102 5-6 0-0 13 1 6 +25
May 23 Raptors 105, Bucks 99 7-13 0-0 21 1 1 +28
May 25 Raptors 100, Bucks 94 5-6 0-0 14 0 2 +12
May 30 Raptors 118, Warriors 109 5-8 4-6 15 1 2 +11
June 2 Warriors 109, Raptors 104 7-17 1-1 17 4 2 +3
June 5 Raptors 123, Warriors 109 4-8 0-0 11 3 2 +4
June 7 Raptors 105, Warriors 92 3-9 0-0 8 4 6 +12
June 10 Warriors 106, Raptors 105 3-7 2-2 11 2 1 -12

Posted on 06.11.19