By Matt Nestor
Prep Sports Reporter
Most times when a team makes a run down state in basketball, it means they have some high-level, NCAA Division I talent on its roster.
Before the season started, everyone knew Fred Van Vleet was heading to Wichita State University. But he will be joined in the Division I ranks by a teammate.
Guard LaMark Foote has signed a scholarship to go down to Louisiana and play basketball for Grambling State University.
“It is a program that reminded me of Auburn,” Foote said of Grambling. “It’s a program on the up and come.”
Grambling is coming off a 4-24 season. They will also be starting off with a new coach, former Notre Dame player and Lamar assistant Joseph Price.
For Foote, it is a good opportunity to go in and have an immediate impact on the program. Foote is a tough defender and a winner, helping lead Rockford Auburn down state and helping lead the AAU team Pryme Tyme to several summer championships.
“I believe in going in and working hard and earning whatever I get,” he said of getting a chance to play right away. “But it is a good opportunity for me because it is a rebuilding program.”
Foote said getting the chance to play with a player like Van Vleet was instrumental in helping him move to college. He said they often played on opposite sides in practice and that schools looking at him couldn’t help but notice other players.
“When schools were looking at him, they were looking at us, too,” Foote said. “It felt great to know I could play at the next level and continue my education.”
And when he gets to Grambling, he will be in familiar surroundings. Whether it was at Auburn or in AAU, his teams were often looked at as the lesser team in their games.
“The teams I’ve played on have been the underdog in almost every game,” he said. “I go in and look at (other teams) like they are the underdog. If you go in with a winning mindset, then you will get good results.”
From the July 25-31, 2012, issue