To fans who have followed college basketball all season, Jimmer Fredette’s story has become ancient folklore: so frequently repeated that it has taken on legendary qualities. But with Fredette making his first national TV appearance (right now on CBS!), the New York Times decided to relay the actual story.Here are the basics:
- Jimmer grew up outside Albany, N.Y. and had a Bird-Magic type rivalry with current Penn State senior Talor Battle, a great scorer in his own right (20.5 per game).
- By eighth grade “the little fat kid,” as one coach put it, had already become known for his scoring prowess.
- His brother T.J., seven years Jimmer’s senior and a good basketball player before suffering a knee injury, trained Jimmer growing up.
- T.J. had Jimmer dribble basketballs down a dark hallway at a nearby church, forcing him to gain control and confidence while avoiding friends popping out of doorways and portraits of Jesus that lined the narrow halls.
- When Jimmer turned 18, T.J. urged him to play in pickup games at a local prison. Jimmer credits these games for building his toughness.
- Jimmer was a local star but his size (he’s now 6-foot-2) and appearance turned many schools off. He received offers from BYU, Siena, Fordham, Massachusetts, and Utah, and chose BYU because he’s a practicing Mormon.
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