Jimmer Fredette Fittingly Returns to the NBA on the Day the NCAA Tournament Begins


NCAA basketball legend turned NBA bust turned Chinese basketball legend Jimmer Fredette is headed back to the NBA.

The Phoenix Suns signed the 30-year-old former Brigham Young star to a contract through the end of this season with an option to pick him up for the 2019-2020 season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Fredette starred at BYU from 2008 to 2011, scoring 2,599 career points, which is 19th on the NCAA’s all-time points list.

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In his senior year, he led the nation in scoring with 28.9 points per game, was named All-America and won the Wooden Award as college basketball’s best player. He led the Cougars to a record of 32-5, and they made it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament that year.

It’s fitting that Fredette got back to the NBA on the opening day of the NCAA Tournament.

The 6-foot-2 guard was selected 10th overall in the 2011 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks and was promptly traded to Sacramento, where he made his NBA debut. Fredette played two-and-a-half years with the Kings before he was sent to Chicago in a trade.

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The next year the Bulls traded him to the New Orleans Pelicans, where he finished out the 2014-15 season. In 2015-16, his last year in the NBA, he played a total of six games for the Pelicans and New York Knicks before being let go.

Fredette started only seven games in his career, all in that first season, and he has a career scoring average of 6 points per game.

In 2016, he signed a two-year contract with the Shanghai Sharks in the Chinese Basketball Association, and he tore up the league. That year Fredette averaged 37.6 points per game and scored 73 points in one game, and he was named the league’s MVP.

Last year, Fredette averaged 36.9 points per game in the CBA.

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He is known as just a flat-out great scorer who has ridiculous range and can score from anywhere on the court.

When Fredette was still college at BYU, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant tweeted: “Jimmer Fredette is the best scorer in the world!!”

“I had a chance to play against him this summer at my basketball camp, and he’s as good as advertised, especially against some of the top guys in the country,” Durant said of Fredette back in January 2011, according to Thunder Rumblings. “He also played with us in USA Basketball (against the FIBA World Championship gold medal team in Las Vegas) and held his own. I’m a big fan.”

He’ll get a chance to play against Fredette again very soon.

It’s not clear when Jimmer will make his debut in a Suns uniform, but they play at Sacramento, his former team, on Saturday night.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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