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Jimmer and Whitney Fredette open up about life as Mormon couple in NBA

By Rebbie Groesbeck and Danny Rasmussen

For Normons

Published: Friday, Jan. 10 2014 6:07 p.m. MST

Even today we still feel so blessed to be married to each other and we are especially grateful that this marriage is something that will last throughout eternity. It’s incredible to me to think about that reality. It’s such an incredible blessing to know that because we were married in the temple that we will be able to be together as a family—with each other and with our children and everyone that we love. That knowledge brings us closer. Especially in Sacramento, since we’re kind of all that each other has we’ve grown closer as a result.

Danny: So why did you choose to be married in the Temple instead of a venue where all your family could attend?

Jimmer: Well, it could’ve been easier to get everybody there had we gotten married somewhere else. It’s a tough situation, especially when my mom and her side of the family weren’t able to attend the sealing. But we explained to them that it was really important to us to get married in the temple and we believe when we do we receive great promises and we’ll be able to be with each other and with our family for eternity and not just ‘til death do us part.

So it was extremely important to us to have that and have those covenants to be able to go through the temple together to receive those ordinances. My mom especially was very thoughtful and thought it was the right thing to do for us. She was very supportive.

Danny: Are you guys worried at all that your kids will be really, really white?

Whitney: Haha we get that question all the time because both of us are so, so pale. Definitely, our kids are going to be white. It doesn’t help that I’m about as fair as fair gets—blonde hair, blue eyes. Jimmer at least has dark hair, even if he’s still white as can be. Hopefully they’ll be able to go out in the sun.

Danny: How has being in the NBA changed your relationship with God?

Jimmer: I definitely have grown closer to the Lord since I’ve been in the NBA. I had an experience when I was a rookie. I was going through a hard time and I wasn’t playing a lot and Whitney was still in college so I had to live in Sacramento by myself while we were engaged. It was a rough time and I was going through some stuff and I didn’t have anyone to come home to and talk about it.

But before I went out to Sacramento, I met with Elder M. Russell Ballard (of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) and it was a pretty incredible experience to sit down with him and have him share some counsel. There was one specific day when I was playing in December. I had had a tough week and I felt like I needed to talk to someone about it other than Whitney, who I had already talked to about it over and over again. I needed someone with a different perspective. All of a sudden I had this feeling that I should call Elder Ballard, so I told myself I’d call him that night. As soon as I got out of practice, I saw a couple texts from Whitney and a new voicemail so I go and listen to the voicemail and it’s from Elder Ballard. It was an incredible experience that he had the same impression to call me the same day I felt impressed to call him. Thankfully I was able to talk to him and he gave me some great advice that helped me keep moving forward. Before we hung up, he challenged me to read the Book of Mormon from that day and finish it before the season was over and I was able to do that and it completely changed my mindset and my attitude and everything changed for me for the better. It was a really special experience for me.

Rebbie: That’s amazing. Can you give me Elder Ballard’s number…? So what’s it like being a Mormon in the NBA? What’s it like in the locker room?

Jimmer: As weird as it sounds, we’re normal like everyone else is. We have a good time, we laugh and joke around, even though sometimes we don’t have a ton in common. And actually, there are some guys you have more in common with than you think in that locker room.

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