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Students react to Jimmer Fredette, former BYU basketball star, making a return to the NBA

Jimmer Fredette has signed a two-year contract with the Phoenix Suns.

Jimmer Fredette has signed a two-year contract with the Phoenix Suns as a point guard/shooting guard, with the second year being a team option. Fredette, who became a national household name in 2011 as a BYU college basketball player, spent a few years in the National Basketball Association [NBA] before playing overseas in China.

Beau Barlow, a junior studying anthropology from California, said, “I feel like this gives members someone to look up to. I remember when ‘Jimmer mania’ was going on, playing church ball and everyone was trying to be like Jimmer. He was a huge deal.

“I followed Jimmer in college. I saw [him] play in college against Kawhi Leonard and San Diego State. He dropped like 47 points. The hype was real. He was the biggest player in college basketball in 2011, he had a lot of exposure all over the media. Everyone was recognizing him, even President Obama.”

Fredette, a star shooting guard in college, was named the Naismith College Player of the Year in 2011 with the BYU Cougars before playing a few seasons in the NBA. He set multiple BYU career records, including points, three-pointers, free throws, and wins played, according to the NBA official website.

Fredette was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round as the 10th overall pick of the 2011 NBA draft, according to the NBA website. He was traded that night to the Sacramento Kings. He after had stints with the Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans and the New York Knicks in the NBA before playing in China for the Shanghai Sharks.

Curtis Delfin, a senior studying political science from Guam, shared the excitement members of the Church have for Fredette’s return. “I think it’s something members will love to see. He had such a big impact at BYU. For him to come back, after his long run overseas, members will be really happy to see him... He’s someone that showcases his faith and his basketball skills.”

Fredette has spent the 2016-2019 seasons in the Chinese Basketball Association, earning MVP honors and numerous titles.

Kyle Hokanson, a senior majoring in biology from Oregon, said of Fredette’s return, “It’s exciting. I hope he does well. It’s interesting because the NBA has increasingly a 3-point game and Jimmer was pretty famous for shooting his 3s. I feel like he can make a great comeback.”

Delfin added, “I think him coming to the NBA at this time is good for him. When he first came in right out of BYU, I don’t know if he had the necessary skill set at the time. Him playing overseas in China, being the leading scorer and showcasing his scoring ability there, I think he has earned his way back to the NBA. I think he can be very good.”

Barlow also thought Jimmer has a much better shot in his return to the NBA. “I think in today’s NBA Jimmer is a much better fit for [the] league rather than in 2011. He’s a shooter, and I think he can do much better now with his playstyle.”

Hokanson commented, “He’s a pretty good example to me of being a member [of the Church] and still being able to pursue your passions. It’s exciting to see members in the NBA.

“It’s gotta be tough to be in the NBA for a family man like Jimmer. They have such busy schedules with traveling and games. It’s great to see a member [of the Church] in his position be an example and show balance.”

Writer: Will Krueger