Jimmer Fredette is the nickname of NBA player James Taft Fredette. Jimmer was born February 25, 1989 to Al and Kay Fredette. He is the youngest of three children and it was his mother who gave him his nickname. He began playing basketball before he even started kindergarten and was able to hit three-pointers by age five. He could play successfully against older players.

Jimmer’s father is Mormon, having converted at age eighteen. His mother is Catholic. Their children were permitted to choose their own religions and all followed in their father’s footsteps to become Mormons, a nickname for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jimmer Fredette became a Mormon at age ten, having attended all his life. He reports that he gained a more in-depth testimony of his faith as he became older.

In high school, Jimmer Fredette was named one of the top 75 shooting guards by ESPN. He set a large number of records and collected an impressive number of awards. Despite this, college coaches didn’t pay much attention to him and he received offers from only twelve schools.

He played for Mormon-owned Brigham Young University from 2007 to 2011, winning most important awards and in his senior year, after playing in a nationally televised game and scoring 43 points, the media finally discovered him. His nickname, Jimmer, became a verb, representing opposing players who were the victims of high scores against them. The president of the United States, Barack Obama, said of him, “Unbelievable. Best scorer obviously in the country. Great talent.”

During the 2011 draft, he was the tenth pick of the Milwaukee Bucks, but was traded to the Sacramento Kings, where he now plays. Sales of his jersey dramatically increased profits for the team.

He married Whitney Wonnacott on June 1, 2012 in the Denver Temple, where Mormons are married not just for life, but for eternity.

Jimmer has said the gospel is more important to him than basketball and that God gave him a talent for sports which he then had a responsibility to develop. His coach at BYU noted that while he is fierce on the court, off the court he is humble and likable.

 

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