By Matt Nestor
Prep Sports Reporter
The Rockford Auburn Knights have been among the top basketball teams in the NIC-10 the last few years. For the program, their hard work is paying off for the players.
Wednesday, Nov. 9, Fred Van Vleet and Marcus Posley both signed their national letters of intent to play basketball in college next season.
Van Vleet, who is a four-year varsity player for Auburn, signed with coach Gregg Marshall to play at Wichita State University of the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC).
“For me, it was little things, feeling like a family and being able to say what you want and being wanted,” he said of his decision. “I could have went [sic] to a bigger school, but I would have been a last option. Why not go somewhere I am a priority, and they will treat me like a priority? On top of all that, they win, so that made it a lot easier.”
The Shockers are one of the top programs in the MVC. They have finished second last two seasons, and are favored to win the conference this season.
Van Vleet has been touted as one of the top recruits for the mid-major schools in the country, and is part of a very impressive recruiting class for Wichita State.
Marshall has called Van Vleet a coach’s dream after the signing and will look to plug him into the lineup as a point guard quickly after arriving on campus. But Van Vleet said he will do whatever is asked.
“Hopefully (point guard), that’s what I am,” when asked where he will play. “If he tells me to play center, I’m going to go down there and try to play. Whatever he tells me to do, I’m going to do.”
Posley, who transferred to Auburn this season after playing at Winnebago, signed to play for Ball State University. He will also join a Mid American Conference program that is on the rise.
“If you ask any player, the summer evaluation period is the hardest time when you get schools looking at you,” Posley said. “And to decide which school you want is really tough. When I took my visit to Ball State, I knew it was for me.”
It was an especially happy day for Posley, who has been fighting eligibility concerns since coming to Auburn and currently is not allowed to play.
“It takes a lot of pressure off my back. I’m grateful for this day,” he said. “I want to say thanks to all the coaches and players at Ball State for sticking with me and believing in me with all the things I’ve been through.”
Posley has played as a scoring two-guard for his high school career. But he said coach Billy Taylor will look for him to play point guard.
“A lot of weight on my shoulders,” he said of the position change. “But it is something I’m looking forward to and something I’ve always wanted to do.”
From the Nov. 16-22, 2011, issue