VINEYARD — Jimmer Fredette called it an absolute blast to see Jimmermania make a return to those who follow him this past summer and the exposure was valuable for all.
Speaking before his annual charity golf tournament "Jimmerosity" at Sleepy Ridge Golf Course this past Friday, Fredette said it meant a lot to him to be reunited with former teammates Brandon Davies and Charles Abouo, and, in the aftermath, many on his team received higher contract offers to play professionally.
Fredette is expected to return to the Shanghai Sharks in the Chinese Basketball League later this fall, where he remains one of the most popular draws in that country.
"People got to know who I was again and got to see me play on American soil against quality competition, guys who have played in the NBA for years," he said. "So, I think in a lot of different ways it was a fun summer and I'm excited to get back to China and see what happens after that year."
Fredette said he believes he did build up some capital and interest in as far as what he can do on the court. "It kind of reignited the 2011 years and it was kind of nostalgic as to what Jimmermania was all about and for me to play on ESPN on a great platform provided a great opportunity for not only people in the NBA but leagues all over the world to see me play and play well. It was good for me but also all the guys on our team. The other guys have received great contracts this summer because of it."
Fredette said upon his return from China last winter/spring that he has had quality time to build his relationship as a husband and father in the states.
"It's meant everything to be home for the past six months. That is the great thing about the shorter season in the Chinese League is that I can spend this time and watch my daughter grow from a year old to 18 months," he said. "To see that transformation is priceless. She is running and talking and climbing on things and everything and it is really special, its what life is all about."
Asked to point out the two best things he did with his family this summer, he said his return to his hometown in New York was memorable and enjoyable.8 comments on this story
"For 10 days, she was able to be at the house I grew up in and meet the people who mean the most to me. While my daughter might not remember all of it, I remember it and it meant a lot to me. My sister's kids, who she doesn't get to see, she was able to be around that side of the family and that was fun.
"We love to be able to go out and play in the neighborhood, and she loves to ride in the golf cart. We do that about every day, and that is one of our most favorite things to do."
Fredette's Jimmerosity Foundation, under the direction of Blair Giles, has raised money to combat bullying in schools and has been effective with its programs both here in Utah and New York.