ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- No Auburn boys basketball player will ever be able to wear the number 23 again.
The Knights honored Fred VanVleet with a jersey retirement ceremony before today's game against Freeport.
Along with having his number enshrined on a plaque now hanging on the wall inside Dolph Stanley Gymnasium, VanVleet gifted an autographed jersey to his former coach Bryan Ott.
"Obviously everybody looks up to him and would like to do the things he's done. So they get to watch him on TV and so people want to emulate that" said Ott. "What I tell people they should emulate is his character. He was a great student. He was loved by all his teachers. He's respectful to everybody. His work ethic, you know, those are the things people miss."
As a senior at Auburn, he averaged 20 points per game, helping the Knights finish third in state in Class 4A.
Now in his second year in the NBA with the Toronto Raptors, he leads the league in net rating at the all-star break.
"Hard work paid off. Everything that we did and he believed in and the team believed in and what Fred did, it worked out" said Joe Danforth, VanVleet's father. "So everything we did, all the mornings getting up, all the shooting, all the running, and all that stuff worked out."