BYU basketball: Big sis played big hand in Jimmer Fredette's development
Fredette Family Photo, Fredette Family Photo
Jimmer Fredette's record-breaking, memorable career at BYU catapulted him onto the national stage, showcased his talents, and turned him into perhaps the most intriguing prospect in Thursday's NBA Draft.
But if it hadn't been for Lindsay Peterson, Jimmer Fredette may never have played for the Cougars in the first place.
Lindsay Peterson teaches fifth grade at a school in Taylorsville, and is the mother of two young boys. It should be noted that her maiden name is Fredette, and she is Jimmer's older sister.
Jimmer's older brother, T.J., has received plenty of well-deserved credit for his role in helping Jimmer develop as a basketball player. But Lindsay has been a key part of Jimmer's life, too.
Lindsay, who is nine years older than Jimmer, left Glens Falls, N.Y., and enrolled at BYU in the late 1990s before graduating in 2003. She remained in Utah after graduation. When BYU was recruiting Jimmer, he was concerned about being 2,000 miles away from home.
"Neither of us had ever been that far away from home before. I think he saw that I was able to adjust to living out here. It made him more comfortable," Lindsay told the Deseret News. "Jimmer likes to be near his family. Knowing there was family out here to support him allowed him to make that decision. It is hard to go away from home, especially across the country. It can be a lonely experience."
Kay Fredette, the mother of Jimmer and Lindsay, said Lindsay "has been a tremendous support to Jimmer over the years. If she weren't out here, I'm not sure he would have gone that far away from home."
Lindsay should also be credited with an assist for helping Jimmer with his adjustment of living in Provo and being a BYU student.
"He was homesick for the first little while. But he could call me and I could visit him and we could get together," she recalled. "I think it made the transition smoother. He felt like he wasn't alone. That was important as he was trying to be part of a team and transition from high school to college basketball. It was important for him to have that extra support."
That support will continue when the NBA Draft unfolds this week. Lindsay Peterson and her husband, Brent, and their two sons, Jason (who will be 3 in July) and Tyler (who was born on May 16) will be traveling to Newark, N.J., for the official NBA Draft festivities at the Prudential Center.
"It will be fun," Lindsay said. "My husband and I will probably be in the general audience chasing our kids. But we'll be there. My parents, my brother, and Whitney (Wonnacott), his girlfriend, will be there in the Green Room with him. We don't want to miss it. It will be a unique thing and a special moment for Jimmer. We want to support him and celebrate with him, hopefully, afterwards. It will be an exciting moment. Something we'll remember it for a long time. We want to be able to experience it as a family."
So where would Lindsay like to see Jimmer play in the NBA?
"For my own interests, I'd to see him with the Jazz because I would be able to see him more often and he'd be close. It would be a real fun thing for me," Lindsay said. "I want to see him go somewhere that's a good situation for him, where he'll have the opportunity to improve his skills and play and learn from other players. I hope he gets with a team where the coach and (front office personnel) all value him. That's what I want the most."
When Jimmer was born, Kay named the boy James Taft Fredette, but she always called him Jimmer. However, Lindsay didn't like that name at first, and refused to called him Jimmer. "I called him James," she said. "But the name Jimmer grew on me."
Jimmer always had plenty of energy, Lindsay said.
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