BYU basketball: Big sis played big hand in Jimmer Fredette's development
"He was always going, and active, getting himself into whatever sport or game was going on around. My mom did not know what to do with his energy. So she hooked a chain into the ceiling with a ring on the end, and let Jimmer swing through the living room like a little Tarzan. Jimmer could get it going so he could loop all the way around in a circle through the living room. He even put a hole in the wall once."
Lindsay did what she could to help Jimmer be the best he could be, including hours spent rebounding for him.
"I kept asking him, 'When are you going to be done?' because I was getting dizzy just looking for the ball. I actually enjoyed it because it was a good workout for me. I'd rebound for him and sometimes I would do crazy things like get in his face and yell and scream as a joke. Then I'd say, 'Hey, you've got to be able to handle that.' I liked to help him out, but definitely T.J. was the one who helped him with his actual skills and develop his craft. There were lots of times when I would work out with Jimmer. I tease him that it's my rebounding and defensive skills that got him to where he is today. You go from seeing him in the church gym to working out for teams at professional gyms. It's really cool."
Lindsay is accomplished in her own right. During her high school years in Glens Falls, she played sports, earned high grades, played the violin and won the Miss New York Teen USA Pageant in 1998. Her appearance in the USA Pageant made her a celebrity in her hometown. She graduated from BYU with a degree in modern dance before getting married and becoming a school teacher.
"It's funny, because I always enjoyed school and I made my brothers play school with me at home," she said, laughing. "They didn't like that very much. Their torture ended up helping me in my profession."
Lindsay remembers her house in Glens Falls being "the center of the neighborhood. Everyone was always outside playing sports and games. We were always playing something. My brothers and I always supported each other in what we liked to do, going to games and concerts."
Lindsay says the Fredette siblings enjoy dancing.
"We all love music and when we get together with family and friends, many times we end up turning up the music and having a 'dance party.' My brothers are good dancers, too. T.J. pulls out Motown dance moves, and I usually pull out the '80s moves I learned growing up. Jimmer does more modern moves, like 'The Jerk' and the 'Harlem Shuffle.' It's fun and sometimes we turn it into a competition. This brings out the light-hearted, goofy side of Jimmer and all of us."
Lindsay said that as a big sister, she and Jimmer have always had a special relationship.
"When I would go home from college, we'd always do things together. I take him out to eat and he'd always order the same thing. We'd go play miniature golf. He beat me every time but once in his life. He's always been very competitive, and I tell him, but I beat you that one time. I always have something to hang over his head. As his older sister, I have to have that."
While Lindsay enjoyed her time at BYU, it took her some time to adjust. When Jimmer was being recruited by BYU, she spoke positively about the school, but allowed him to make his own decision.
"He was feeling that it would be a good situation for him basketball-wise," Lindsay said. "But it's hard to make that decision to go so far away from home especially when there's interest in you back there as well. I would tell him about my experiences with classes, roommates, the fun things to do on campus and unique things that are part of the BYU environment. It ties in with our faith. I told him about the great experiences I had, but I never told him go to BYU. I would encourage him by telling things about BYU, but I didn't try to sway him. He's a really good decision-maker. He listens to people but he doesn't let it sway his core beliefs. He makes really good decisions, then sticks to it."
Because she's nine years older than Jimmer, and was away at college, Lindsay missed some of his earlier accomplishments. However, during Jimmer's senior year in high school, her husband was able to move to New York so he could train for his profession, financial advising, in New York. That allowed her to watch Jimmer play as a senior. Then, she and her husband returned to Utah, enabling her to be near Jimmer for all four years of college.
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