Fred Roberts: Mormon Athlete
Frederick C. Roberts is an educator and former National Basketball League power forward. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Roberts was born on August 14, 1960, in Provo, Utah. He was raised in Riverton, Utah, and played high school basketball at Bingham High where he was named player of the year both his junior and senior years and led his team to championships both years. In 1979, he played in the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Under 19 World Championship.
He played in 119 games for Brigham Young University during a basketball renaissance at BYU with luminaries such as Danny Ainge and Greg Kite. He concluded his years with BYU as the second leading scorer following Ainge. He was twice on the All-WAC first team (1981–1982).
With Roberts’ contributions to the BYU team, the NBA noticed him and the Milwaukee Bucks picked him in the second round of the 1982 Draft; however, he went to Italy to play for Fortitudo Bologna for a year before he played with the Bucks. While in Italy, the Bucks traded him to the New Jersey Nets, and then the Nets traded him to the San Antonio Spurs. He played with the Spurs for the 1983–1984 season. After playing 22 games for the Spurs, he was traded to the Utah Jazz where he played for the 1984–1986 seasons. His contribution to the team diminished when Karl Malone, also a power forward, was drafted. The Boston Celtics offered Roberts a two-year deal in September 1986, where he played with Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish.
Roberts went to the Miami Heat in the 1988 NBA Expansion Draft and then was immediately traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, where he played for five seasons. He then played for the Cleveland Cavaliers (1994–1995), the Los Angeles Lakers (1995–1996), and the Dallas Mavericks (1996–1997). During those three seasons, he also played for the Chicago Rockers in the Continental Basketball Association and FC Barcelona in Spain.
Soon after his retirement, he and his family moved to Utah to be near family. He was offered the opportunity to be a principal at a private school, where he stayed for five years. He returned to BYU and received his bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate in 2007. After graduation, he began teaching sixth grade and teaches at Lincoln Academy in Pleasant Grove, Utah, where he is also the basketball coach. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Phoenix in 2010.
Fred and Penny Roberts live in Alpine, Utah, with their children.