09252017

We Got Jimmered!

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Jimmer Fredette and his BYU sidekicks have Utah County dribbling at the mouth with excitement as we march through March.

Jimmer Fredette and his BYU sidekicks have Utah County dribbling at the mouth with excitement as we march through March. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

Jimmer Fredette may be the favorite son of Glens Falls, New York, but he has a second family in Utah Valley that sacrifices vocal chords to support him every Wednesday and Saturday.

Utah County has a serious case of Jimmer fever. The condition spreads at work, church and PTA meetings. Even grandmas and girls aren’t immune. Jimmer Fredette is a condition known around the nation, but Utah Valley is tightly attached to our headliner. Utah Valley Magazine banked a few hard-to-come-by minutes with The Jimmer.

UV: When was your first visit to Provo and what was your impression?

Jimmer: I was about 10. We took my sister out here to college. She’s nine years older than I am. I thought it was a cool place. The apartment complex was fun, and there seemed to be a lot of things going on.

 

UV: What does your big sister think of all the attention you’re getting?

Jimmer: She really likes it. She’s glad that her little brother is achieving his goals. She’s always concerned with how I’m doing. She lives in Taylorsville, so I see her a lot. I go up there for Sunday dinner. She’s been there for me from the start here in Utah. She’s a loving sister.

 

UV: What do you think of being “adopted” by our valley?

Jimmer: It’s great to know I’m loved in the community and the area. That’s what you want as an athlete — to be loved by the fans and have them support you. You want them to respect your game, but you also want them to respect you as a person.

UV: You’ve been involved locally in helping charities like the Children with Cancer Christmas Foundation and the Special Olympics. Why is giving back so important to you?

Jimmer: To me, giving back is more important than being a good athlete. Giving back is a huge part of all this. You have to remember you were in their position once. When I was their age, I was the kid who wanted to meet all the good athletes. I was the one looking for an autograph. That’s what I remember about growing up, so I know I need to be a good example to the young people I come in contact with.

 

UV: What are your other talents besides basketball?

Jimmer: One thing people don’t know is that I juggle — my uncle taught me how to do it. I’m also pretty good at chess. I used to play pool a lot, and we’d go down to the billiards hall. Other than that, I was pretty much always into sports. It didn’t matter what sport — kickball or foursquare or making up games. I didn’t play a lot of video games, and I still don’t. I’m not good at them. We don’t have a game system in our apartment, and I probably haven’t played since I came to college.

 

UV: How does Provo remind you of Glens Falls?

Jimmer: Provo is a close-knit community, and people know what’s going on. Both towns love sports and follow their teams. Obviously, Provo is bigger, but the feel is similar.

 

We Heart Jimmer    “ESPN is like Jimmer TV, that’s all you see. Can you imagine if this guy played at UConn? Or for the UConn women’s team? He’d be on even more.” — ESPN The Magazine, Chad Millman

We Heart Jimmer
“ESPN is like Jimmer TV, that’s all you see. Can you imagine if this guy played at UConn? Or for the UConn women’s team? He’d be on even more.” — ESPN The Magazine, Chad Millman (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

UV: How do you stay grounded amid all the attention?

Jimmer: Basketball is  an important part of my life, and I’m going to try to make a living at it, but I’ve been taught that it’s not the most important. Eventually, basketball will be done. Hopefully I play for a long time and make a good living. But if people don’t like you, basketball doesn’t matter.

 

UV: What would you like to do after you’re done on the court?

Jimmer: I’m not sure, but I will have a degree in history. Maybe I’ll coach at the high school level. I don’t think I’d coach college. It’s too time consuming. I’ve also thought about opening a restaurant with my brother and friends.

 

UV: How has your time as a BYU student changed in the past month?

Jimmer: Everywhere I go people come up and ask for a picture or an autograph. That’s elevated in the last month. More people know me. It’s fun to be a part of it, though. I’m glad people are excited about the team. It’s good to be noticed. It comes with the territory.

 

UV: If you had one game in your life to replay, which would it be?

Jimmer: The one game I think most about was when we lost in the state championship game my senior year of high school. My school has never won a state championship, and it would have meant so much to our town.

 

UV: How do you shoulder being the face of a program, a school and a religion?

Jimmer: Being a basketball player brings questions. I’m glad to help our LDS faith out and be a missionary in this aspect. I’m glad they’re curious about my faith. Hopefully they get more curious and start asking more questions to friends and neighbors who are LDS.

Jimmer on Jimmer
Would you rather hit a deep three-pointer or drive to the basket for an “and-one? 
Get to the basket for the “and-one.”
Favorite Utah restaurant?
Tucanos.
Place to get away from the craziness?
My girlfriend’s house.
Favorite spot on the floor to shoot a three-pointer?
From the right wing.
Favorite frozen treat?
I’m a hard ice cream fan. I like Coldstone cake batter ice cream. It’s the best.
Best “Jimmer” sign you’ve seen?
There have been lots of clever ones. There’s one I remember that said: “Chuck Norris wears Jimmer Fredette pajamas.” I thought that was pretty funny.

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