Working hard, and always working

Vanitvelt looks over to the bench during a game vs. Howell.

On the court, talent gets you noticed, but as this week's NBC 25 Academic All-Star shows, your talent only gets noticed, because of your hard work.

No matter what the sport, but especially in basketball, if you want to be successful, you have to work.

Grand Blanc's Jake Vanitvelt, specializes in getting his hands dirty.

"He's a hard-worker; he wants to be successful in everything that he does,"says Jake's Head Coach, Rob McRae."

But it's not just on the hardwood where Jake puts his nose to the grindstone. This staple in the Bobcat-lineup also sports a healthy GPA.

"I've always found that as good as I'll be in sports, academics will take me further."

And you can't get there alone. Jake has had a lifetime of support; from family and friends, and his head coach, who he used to ball boy for when he was a Bobcat-standout.

"It's a cycle," says Vanitvelt. "I was helping him out, and now he's giving me his basketball knowledge to try and make me better."

And now Vanitvelt continues that cycle by reading to kids at Anderson Elementary.

"Eventually the kids will be our age, and they look up to you. And so . it's cool to be able to give back to them and further their education."

As his senior season winds down, Jake starts to look toward his future, and according to McRae, he wouldn't be surprised to see Vanitvelt one day diagramming plays, and sporting a whistle.

"I can definitely see that," says McRae. "His dad is our freshman coach, so he has that in his bloodline. It would be good to see him in the coaching ranks one day."