Before there was Steph Curry, there was Jimmer. Simply referred to by his unique first name, Jimmer Fredette took the basketball world by storm in the late 2000s. His effortless range and smooth scoring ability turned him into a phenomenon at BYU, but his talent didn’t quite translate to the NBA. Fredette bounced around to five different teams but never found a home in the league. So, what happened to the BYU sharpshooter and where is he playing now?
Jimmer Fredette was a scoring machine at BYU
You know you’re a living legend when your name morphs from a noun to a verb. “You got Mossed!” is the most famous instance, but getting “Jimmered” became the hottest fad of 2010. A local band even made a song called “You’ve been Jimmered” during Fredette’s senior season at BYU.
Fredette deserved all the hype he received in college. He could pull up from 40 feet or drive past his defender and make an acrobatic layup whenever he pleased. Fredette averaged 28.9 points per game as a senior and led BYU to a 32-5 record. He had his most memorable game in the 2011 Mountain West Conference tournament, where he dropped 52 points and made seven three-pointers against New Mexico.
The electric guard led the Cougars to a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament in 2010-11. BYU defeated No. 11 Gonzaga and No. 14 Wofford before falling to No. 2 Florida in the regional semifinals. Fredette did all he could in the loss, dropping 32 points and five assists in the game.
Fredette was named the Consensus Player of the Year in 2010-11.
Jimmer Fredette didn’t live up to the hype in the NBA
After his stellar senior year, Freddete was drafted No. 10 overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2011 NBA draft. He was immediately traded to the Sacramento Kings, where he spent his first three seasons in the NBA.
Fredette struggled as a rookie, shooting just 36.1% from three and averaging a measly 7.6 points per game off the bench. Unfortunately for Fredette, things only got worse from there.
The former college phenom saw his points per game drop in five straight seasons after his rookie campaign. He played stints with the Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans, and New York Knicks — mostly in the G-League — before flaming out of the league in 2016.
Despite being stuck in the G-League for years, Fredette remained optimistic the entire time.
“I feel good, feel confident. It’s great,” Fredette told SLAM during his time with the Westchester Knicks. “I know that I can play at the NBA level; I’ve shown it before. I’ve had some really great games and some really good runs in the NBA. But sometimes it doesn’t work out for you right away how you want it to. You’ve got to fight and work hard. I have confidence in my ability and that if I play in the NBA I can be really successful.”
Jimmer Fredette is still getting buckets today, just not in the NBA
In 2016, Fredette decided to explore a basketball career overseas. He joined the Shanghai Sharks in the Chinese Basketball Association, and boy did he show out.
Fredette found something in China. He averaged 37.3 points per game in his first season with the Sharks. A few years later, he dropped 75 points in a single game, including 40 in the fourth quarter. The impressive display was enough for the Phoenix Suns to give Fredette another shot in the NBA, but he lasted just six games with the team.
After his time with the Suns, Fredette joined Panathinaikos of the Greek Basket League, where he played all last season.
Fredette is just 31 years old, so an NBA comeback is not out of reach for the former BYU star. Above all else, though, Fredette just loves to ball. If that happens in the NBA, great. If it happens in China or Greece, also great. Wherever Jimmer ends up in the coming years, just know he’ll be getting buckets.
All stats courtesy of Basketball Reference