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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Jimmer Fredette

James "Jimmer" Taft Fredette (born February 25, 1989) is an American college basketball player for the BYU Cougars men's basketball team. Fredette was born and grew up in Glens Falls, New York, and earned several accolades for his basketball performance in high school, including being named to ESPN's Top 75 shooting guards. Fredette was recruited by 12 schools for collegiate play and elected to attend Brigham Young University, which is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which Fredette is a member.
Fredette is the Mountain West Conference's all-time leading scorer and a leading candidate for 2010-11 NCAA Basketball Player of the Year.


Fredette was born February 25, 1989, in Glens Falls, New York, to Al and Kay Fredette, the youngest of three children. Named James Taft, Fredette later received the nickname "Jimmer" from his mother.
From his early childhood, he showed unusual dedication to athletics, his older brother TJ recalling, "He was the most determined, competitive four-year-old I had ever seen." He regularly played with TJ, seven years older, and TJ's friends on the family's backyard court. He was able to hit three-pointers at age 5, and developed moves to get around his larger opponents. TJ also remembered that his brother "willed himself to find ways to win, even if he was physically outmatched. From the time he was 10, I was telling everybody he was going to make the NBA."
Other family members assisted Fredette in his development. His father, a financial adviser, introduced Jimmer to schoolyard competition against adults at age 8. As Jimmer developed, his father took him on occasional road trips to Hartford and New York City for more intense competition, and also helped to coach his AAU teams. His mother allowed him to bounce basketballs throughout the house, and even built a dribbling studio for him in their basement. Her brother Lee Taft, a personal trainer who now operates a speed training school in Indianapolis, started him on running drills as a 5-year-old, and still works with Fredette.
Fredette's father converted to the Mormon faith at the age of 18 while his mother remained a Catholic. Jimmer, along with his two older siblings, chose to become Mormons after their parents allowed them to choose their religion. He is the younger brother of rapper TJ Fredette, who helped train him for his basketball career since before kindergarten, and Lindsay Fredette, Miss Teen New York 1998.

High school career

Fredette was ranked among the nation's top 75 shooting guards by in high school. He is Section II and Glens Falls High School's all-time leading scorer, ranking 6th on New York's all-time scoring list, with 2,404 points. Fredette was named first-team all-state by the New York State Sportswriters Association and the Times Union as a junior and senior. In his senior season Fredette led his team to a 25-2 record and the Class A State Championship game which they lost to a Peekskill High School team led by current Syracuse University forward Mookie Jones. 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. His performance included four three-pointers in the first half of the championship game fighting against 10-15 mph gusts of wind.
Despite his high school accolades, he went largely unnoticed by NCAA Division I schools. He received only two Division I scholarship offers—one from Siena, located in the Albany area not far from his hometown, and the other from Lindsay's alma mater and the flagship school of the LDS Church, BYU.

College career

Fredette is currently a senior at Brigham Young University. In 2008–09 Fredette became BYU's first point guard to earn first-team all-conference honors since Marty Haws in 1990.

Freshman year
Fredette played in all 35 games for the Cougars as a true freshman, helping BYU earn a 27-8 record and capture the Mountain West Conference Championship. He averaged 18.5 minutes, 7.0 points, 1.7 assists and 1.1 rebounds per game and was the team's fifth-leading scorer.
Year Games Played Minutes/Game Points/Game Rebounds/Game Assists/Game
2007–2008 35 18.5 7.0 1.1 1.7

Sophomore year
Fredette played in all 33 games of his sophomore season starting 32 of them. He was second on the team in scoring (16.2), three-point shooting percentage (.382), three-point makes (52) and free throw percentage (.847) and first in steals (1.5) and assists (4.1). He scored in double figures 29 times and had 20-plus points 8 times. Fredette led the team in scoring 10 times and assists 19 times and was named first team all Mountain West.
Year Games Played Minutes/Game Points/Game Rebounds/Game Assists/Game
2008–2009 33 33.0 16.2 3.0 4.1

Junior year
On December 28, 2009 Fredette scored 49 points against the Arizona Wildcats, setting a new BYU record and a new McKale Center record for points scored in a single game.
On March 11, 2010, Fredette scored 45 points, shooting 10-for-23 from the field, and making 23-of-24 free throws, in his team's 95-85 win over TCU. His scoring broke the Mountain West Conference tournament and tournament single-game records. His free throw shooting broke the MWC tournament record for free throws in a single game.
On March 18, 2010, Fredette helped secure BYU's first round win in the NCAA tournament. He went on to score 37 points and hit two 3-pointers in double-overtime to seal the Cougars' 99-92 win over 10th-seeded Florida, the first time they had reached the second round of the tournament in 17 years. In doing so, he tied a BYU record for most points scored in an NCAA tournament game. (Danny Ainge, 1981) .
Year Games Played Minutes/Game Points/Game Rebounds/Game Assists/Game
2009–2010 34 31.1 22.1 3.1 4.7

Senior year
Fredette was named co-captain of his team alongside Jackson Emery and Logan Magnusson. To this point, Fredette has had his best year for BYU. He is averaging 27.4 points per game (first in NCAA Division I) on 48.2% shooting. 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. Fredette scored 47 points in BYU's road victory over archrival Utah on January 11, 2011, scoring 32 in the first half including a 40-foot buzzer beater to end the first half. He also scored 39 against UNLV on January 5, 2011 and 33 in a rematch against the same University of Arizona team he scored 49 against his junior season. 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
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.
Year Games Played Minutes/Game Points/Game Rebounds/Game Assists/Game Turnovers/Game Assist/Turnover Blocks/Game Steals/Game
2010-11 21 34.1 27.4 3.4 4.2 2.9 1.44 0.1 1.3

Playing style and personality

In a January 2011 article, Sports Illustrated writer Kelli Anderson said about Fredette's playing style,
“ Facing the opposition's best defender (or, more often, defenders), he pulls up going right or going left. He shoots off the dribble, off the wrong foot, off balance, off the glass. He finishes in traffic with a dozen deft moves, including a funky scoop shot, originating from his waist, that he can make with either hand. ”
Other facets of his personality have been noted by other college coaches. Utah coach Jim Boylen has cited "swagger and confidence" as Fredette's biggest weapons, and Villanova's Jay Wright has also remarked favorably on Fredette's on-court aggressiveness, comparing him to Pete Maravich in that respect. However, according to Anderson, Fredette "is fiercely competitive while remaining unassuming and likable," noting that Arizona coach Sean Miller hugged Fredette after he scored 49 on the Wildcats, and the Utah fans who saw Fredette score 47 on the Utes in January 2011 gave him an ovation as he left the court.
Jimmer's older brother, TJ Fredette, a Christian rapper, has been described by Jimmer as his biggest fan and supporter. TJ, whose song "Amazing" was written for his brother, said, "I see him play, and it gives me chills sometimes when he hits some of those big shots and the crowd is going crazy."

Media hype

After his 40, 43, and 47-point games, the media attention around Jimmer became significant. He is now a leading candidate for 2010-11 NCAA Basketball Player of the Year.

"Jimmer worship"
Michelle Peralta, a BYU student, received significant attention from the media after writing a letter to the editor of The Daily Universe (Feb, 2011). Her letter criticized BYU students because she felt their fascination with Jimmer was excessive to the point of bordering on worship; after posting her letter to her Facebook page and making the comment visible to everyone, several hundred comments were posted in reply. The comments acknowledged in a humorous way their fascination with Jimmer. Due to the "hilarious" nature of the comments and the tension between the idea of Jimmer as a deity and the Mormon church, which owns BYU, this was picked up by mainstream media, college newspapers (including BYU's own The Daily Universe),  and


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