Like all BYU fans, my family thinks of little else in our lives other than "Jimmermania."
I guess I should clarify that I am suffering from said symptoms. My kids, and even my wife, know who Jimmer Fredette is, but they don’t watch and re-watch all of the BYU basketball games and read and re-read all of the sports columns and videos, like a true BYU fan.
All of this attention on one man has made me reflect on two very important questions: Why wasn’t I like Jimmer? And, is it too late for me now?
The answer to the first question can probably be blamed on my childhood. First, my parents gave me the name Scott. While the name Scottie Pippen is pretty cool, Scott Brown doesn’t quite capture the attention of the nation. I was doomed from Day One. Unfortunately for my boys — Scott, Josh, Zach and Sam — it may be too late for them, too.
Second, my parents never bought me a basketball stand. In their defense, I never asked for one since playing basketball was about No. 3 or 4 on my list of favorite sports. But kids can’t be expected to ask for everything or recognize their talents at a young age.
I admit that my neighbors had a basketball stand. A pretty nice one at that — a large area of their yard was covered in concrete so as to create a semi-real basketball playing area. But it wasn’t quite big enough for me to practice 3-pointers, let alone NBA 3-pointers. Had there been, well, I’m sure you can imagine what it would have been like had Scottermania hit BYU back in the early to mid 90s.
Third, I quit basketball after my sophomore year in high school. One could argue it was my "choice" but like all things in my life, I can usually find someone or something to blame. In this case, I’m blaming those Stockton-like shorts I had to wear. I have a picture. You would have done the same.
Fourth, and finally, I didn’t have a brother who set up obstacle courses in church hallways to practice my dribbling. In fact, I don’t have any brothers. I have four sisters, but they pretty much convinced my parents to make a rule that I was only allowed to dribble the ball outside—not exactly an environment conducive to a budding superstar.
That said, we did have a pretty good basketball coach who lived in my ward, Brother Trainer. He was about 80-years old, but every year he did a basketball camp for the little kids — me included. I can still do a pretty mean lay-up with my knee way up in the air.
The answer to the second question is much simpler. No, it’s never too late, and now the timing it better anyway given the long basketball shorts that are now in style.
Sure, I’m almost 37, an age most NBA players do not even reach before retirement, but if I had nothing better to do every day other than practice basketball and shoot really long 3-pointers, I could do it.
Just like I could still win the Tour de France if I had a $10,000 bicycle (and I could wear basketball shorts in place of the "tighties"). Or the Boston Marathon, if I didn’t have to train in Arizona during the long, hot summers. Or the Iron Man, if I could swim more than 25 yards.
But first things first: I’m changing my name to Scotter — and all of my boys’ names to Scotter 2, Josher, Zacher and Sammer — and we are building a really big basketball court in our backyard.
Scott practices bankruptcy law by day with Lewis and Roca LLP in Phoenix, Arizona and moonlights as a humor columnist by night.