Starting off our NBA Pre-Draft Tour, we made our way to Indianapolis to check out Wichita State point guard Fred VanVleet. The All-American was training with Chris Thomas of World Domination, a fellow native of Rockford, Illinois. VanVleet has overcame adversity for his entire career from having his father murdered as a child to constantly being told that he was ot big or athletic enough to make it. Firmly in the second round mix, he looks to continue to prove people wrong.
Here’s our interview with his trainer Thomas on what they’re working on and why he thinks Fred has a spot in the league.
CityLeagueHoops: What have you been working on with Fred in the pre-draft process?
Chris Thomas: The biggest thing for me is his conditioning and athletic performance enhancement. One of his knocks is size and average athleticism, so if we can use these weeks to build up his strength, speed, agility, and quickness, he’s going to present himself as a real good point guard. We’re also working on his shooting with the NBA ball and from NBA distance.
CLH: What do you think Fred is going to show NBA teams that he didn’t necessarily show at Wichita State?
CT: I think Fred was able to, by end his career, show the NBA types exactly what he’s about. Now he’ll be able to prove it. They say ‘Wichita, they don’t play anyone. They’re mid major.’ Now all playing fields are equal and it’s a matter of showing how he can compete. He’ll prove his point.
CLH: What makes you believe that Fred will be a successful NBA player?
CT: He’s beaten the odds all of his life. I’m from the same hometown and it’s a tough deal. It’s the backyard of Chicago and is known for great point guards. All throchip on shoulder. He’s proven his point and backed it up. What you see is what you get.