Jimmer Fredette

From MormonWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Jimmer Fredette, BYU basketball star

James "Jimmer" Fredette was a collegiate basketball player setting records and gaining wins during the 2010-2011 season for Brigham Young University (ranked 7th in February, 2011). In 2011, Fredette was drafted as the 10th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. He has played for the Sacramento Kings, Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans, and New York Knicks. Over the course of his NBA career, Fredette has averaged 6 points per game and shot 41.2 percent from the field. Fredette spent his summer as part of the Denver Nuggets in the 2016 NBA Summer League. However, after passing from team to team in the NBA and D League over the past five years, Fredette settled for a one-year contract overseas with the Shanghai Sharks, owned by former Chinese professional basketball player Yao Ming. In July 2017, he re-signed with the Sharks for a two-year deal. On March 22, 2019, Fredette signed a two-year contract with the Phoenix Suns.

Fredette was born on February 25, 1989, in Glens Falls, New York, to Al and Kay Fredette. He is the youngest of three children. Fredette was active and competitive from toddlerhood. At age five, he was able to make 3-pointers. He was creative at navigating around much older and larger players on the court, including his older brother. From age ten, he set his sights on the NBA. His parents did whatever was necessary to foster their son's abilities and goals.

Fredette weighs 195 lb. and stands 6'2" tall. While in high school, he was named one of the 75 best shooting guards by ESPN. He was the leading scorer at Glens Falls High School. Scoring 2,404 points, he was ranked seventh in New York’s all-time scoring list. New York State Sportswriters Association named Jimmer as first-team all-state. He played AAU for the Albany City Rocks alongside current Penn State University point guard Talor Battle. Fredette averaged 25 points per game to help the Rocks to a third-place win over the Minnesota Magic at the 2006 AAU National Championships. He also lit up the Sportsfest Tournament at Cedar Beach in Allentown, PA during a prestigious outdoor summer tournament.

Since Marty Haws earned recognition in 1990, Fredette is the first point guard to earn all conference first team honors (2008-2009). After serving his team well in 2009-2010, his senior year, 2010-2011, is proving to be Jimmer's best, and he's all over the newspapers. BYU is ranked seventh in the country. On January 26, 2011, in the Mountain West Conference's first battle of top-10 teams, and attracting a crowd of over 22,700 at BYU's Marriott Center, Jimmer scored 43 points against previously unbeaten San Diego State, ending the game in a 71-58 victory. This was his third game this season to score over 40 points. [1] After his 40, 43, and 47-point games, the media attention around Jimmer became significant. He is now the leading candidate for 2010-11 NCAA Basketball Player of the Year.

On December 8, 2010, he returned to his hometown of Glens Falls to play Vermont in the Glens Falls Civic Center, scoring 26 and attracting a crowd of 6,300, nearly half of Glens Falls' population of 14,354. He is the number one ranked point guard in the nation according to Rivals.com. He became the Mountain West Conference's all-time leading scorer on Feb. 5, 2011 with a 29-point performance versus UNLV in the Marriott Center.

During March Madness of 2011, BYU reached the top 16, even after losing Brandon Davies to an honor code violation that took him out of team play for the season. The BYU team had to regroup and learn to play without Davies during final playoffs. Fredette continued to break records during final playoffs, and the team clobbered Gonzaga, the favored team, to reach Sweet 16. (See the section about the BYU honor code as it relates to athletics.)

After March Madness, the awards began to flow in for Jimmer. Fredette was voted the winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy — emblematic of the national player of the year — from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, which consists of more than 900 journalists. Fredette is the second player from the MWC to earn that award, along with Utah's Andrew Bogut, who won it in 2005. He was also named to the Associated Press All-America team, receiving all but one vote from the 65-member national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25. The voting was completed before the NCAA tournament. Fredette became the Cougars’ first All-America selection since Danny Ainge in 1981. Fredette was joined by Duke's Nolan Smith, Purdue's JuJuan Johnson, Connecticut's Kemba Walker and Ohio State's Jared Sullinger on the AP first team.

Jimmer also won the 2010-11 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award winner in men's basketball. The announcement and trophy presentation were made in Houston by Lowe's, an official corporate partner of the NCAA, during open practices for the men's Final Four. The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I head coaches, national media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in NCAA Division I men's basketball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence -- community, classroom, character and competition. The Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. A team captain, he is an active participant in the Children with Cancer Christmas Foundation. In the summer of 2009, he went on a service trip to Nicaragua with other BYU student-athletes. [2]

For 2010-2011 Fredette led the nation in scoring, having averaged 28.9 points per game. He averaged 32.7 points in three NCAA Tournament games. Fredette broke Ainge's school scoring mark, finishing with 2,599 career points, including a school-record 1,068 points this year. He also shot 89.4 percent from the free throw line and led the team in assists with 4.3 per contest. Jimmer also has won the the Adolph Rupp Award, making him the first BYU Cougar to win both the Robertson and Rupp awards. He also won the Naismith Award. This recognition is unique in that it allows fan voting to count for 25 percent of the final vote. No other major award features such a high percentage of fan involvement. No one from BYU has ever won the award.

After the Naismith, Jimmer also took the John R. Wooden Award. Fredette accepted the 35th annual trophy from Jim Wooden, the son of the late UCLA coaching great during a ceremony at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Fredette became the first BYU player since Danny Ainge in 1981 to win, adding the Wooden trophy to the collection he's picked up in recent weeks, including ones from The Associated Press and the Atlanta Tipoff Club. In July 2011 Fredette was awarded the ESPY as best male athlete of the year. [3]

On June 23, 2011, Fredette was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Draft. He was subsequently traded to the Sacramento Kings, number 10 in the NBA's 2011 draft.”

The Kings bought out Fredette’s contract in early 2014 and he moved to the Chicago Bulls, who had been scouting him since he played at BYU. Fredette was an unrestricted free agent for summer 2014.

Jimmer Fredette's father converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes casually called the Mormon Church at age 18, but his mother is Catholic. The parents encouraged their children to choose a religion, and Jimmer and both of his siblings chose to be members the Church of Jesus Christ. Jimmer's older brother, T.J., is a rapper, and his sister, Lindsay, was Miss Teen New York in 1998.

On August 26, 2011, Fredette announced his engagement to BYU cheerleader Whitney Wonnacott on Twitter, where he has over 53,000 fans following his "tweets." They married nine months later in the Denver Colorado Temple. Wonnacott is from Littleton, Colorado. They are the parents of a daughter and a son.

At the April 2019 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ, Elder Gary E. Stevenson included Jimmer in his talk:

We know Church members and priesthood holders who have experienced success at the highest levels of professional athletics. There are many good examples, but I can list only a few here for the sake of time. You might recognize some of these athletes: in baseball, Jeremy Guthrie and Bryce Harper; in basketball, Jabari Parker and Jimmer Fredette; in soccer, Ricardo Rojas; in rugby league, William Hopoate; and in football, Taysom Hill and Daniel Sorensen. Each has made significant contributions to his sport.
While they are extremely successful in their sports, these athletes would be the first to admit they are not perfect athletes or perfect human beings. They work hard to be the best in their sport—and to live the gospel. They get up if they stumble, and they strive to endure to the end.

He later quoted Jimmer as saying, "I have learned to lean heavily on my knowledge and faith of the truthfulness of the gospel. This has guided me to be . . . a worthy priesthood holder and above all—a positive example.”