From insight into how he’s preparing for his upcoming wedding to his favorite downtime hobbies, No. 7 dishes on his life outside of hoops. Plus, is a future rap career on Fredette’s horizon?
Two months after Jimmer Fredette fulfilled one of his lifetime dreams of being selected in the NBA Draft, the Sacramento Kings rookie made a life-changing decision – asking his longtime girlfriend, Whitney, to marry him.
“I proposed back in August – it was after college was all over, in the summertime,” he recalls. “I just kind of made it seem like I wasn’t going to be there and made it seem like I was going on a golf trip.”
Instead, the 23-year-old asked his sister to invite Whitney to his then-house in Provo, Utah, where he left a present and a fictitious note apologizing for his absence.
The hopeless romantic had to plan the proposal impeccably to get it past his now-fiancée, who will graduate from Brigham Young University in April and return to Denver, Colo., near her hometown, to make the final preparations for the June wedding.
“I surprised her – she had no idea I was going to do it then – and she said, ‘Yes,’” says a smiling Fredette. “She was really surprised, and she doesn’t get surprised very often.”
With matrimony less than three months away, the Kings rookie has been impressed with the way his soon-to-be-wife has tackled the wedding to-do list.
“I know what’s going on, but it’s her big day, so whatever she wants, I’m good with,” he says. “She’s done a great job with it, but she’s also kept me up to speed, so it’s been fun.”
Although he admits to being only “a little bit” involved in the planning, Fredette has been focused on fulfilling his responsibilities as a groom.
“I’ve had a couple of things I’ve had to do,” he says. “I take care of the rehearsal dinner, so I had to make sure to get that all set up, get all the tuxes for the groomsmen and different types of stuff like that.”
In between preparing for the ceremony and putting up countless jump shots in the gym, No.7, who describes himself as a “shy and relaxed guy,” enjoys dining and spending time with family in his seldom-free time.
“I like to hang out with family and friends and hang out with my fiancée,” he says. “(We’ll) just go out to eat, so I like to find good spots in town and watch movies, (but) other than that, I don’t do a whole lot – maybe some bowling or something like that.”
The Glenn Falls, N.Y., native doesn’t hesitate to pick his favorite restaurant, a pizzeria in his hometown that’s run by a pair of family friends.
“I love pizza – Angelina’s Pizza is my favorite,” he discloses. “It’s a place that a couple of my brother’s best friends own (who are) like brothers to us. It’s New York pizza, so it’s the big pieces – it’s my favorite pizza by far.”
A self-proclaimed “big movie buff,” Fredette reveals his favorite film is the 1994 Oscar-nominated release, “The Shawshank Redemption.”
“It’s a great movie – really good ending, great acting in it, good writing, and it’s a very good story,” he explains. “I just kind of like the way that you have to think throughout the whole thing and the way it all comes together at the end.”
In addition to comedic shows, including “The Office,” Fredette has been catching up on one of TV’s most captivating science fiction programs during long road trips.
“I’m watching ‘Lost’ right now – that whole series, I’m really into it,” he says. “They just leave you on the edge all the time and you’re always waiting to see the next one, so I go through three or four of them on the plane sometimes to try to see what’s going on.”
On gamedays, the BYU product typically listens to hip-hop tracks in the locker room prior to tip-off, preferring rappers with sharp lyrics and a strong message in their music.
“Some of my favorite artists are probably Joe Budden and Jay-Z, and some of those types of guys – guys who are very good at telling stories and having great songs,” he says.
While Fredette was establishing himself as one of the best scorers in college basketball en route to being named the 2011 National Player of the Year, his older brother, T.J. – an aspiring rapper himself with ambitions of becoming a writer – dedicated an inspirational song to Jimmer, accompanied by a heart-felt video that includes footage from their upbringing.
“It was a great song called ‘Amazing’ and it meant a lot,” says the Sacramento guard. “It goes through what we went through in our childhood to get to where I am today, so it’s a very meaningful song for both of us.”
Long before Jimmer-mania spread from the BYU campus to the stands at Power Balance Pavilion, Fredette developed his passion for the game as a preschooler while playing against his older siblings on a hoop in the backyard.
“My brother and sister are seven and nine years older than I am, so I started at a young age – three, four years old out there, trying to shoot the ball with them and just have a good time,” he recalls. “It was good they would let me play with them and go out there, and that’s where I got my love from a young age.”
Soon after, T.J. began training him with basic dribbling and shooting drills before inviting him to partake in local pick-up games, where the Kings rookie says he quickly gained confidence thanks to his older brother’s encouragement.
“My brother is a great guy – he’s always there for support to help (me), and he’s done a good job of that throughout my life,” says Fredette. “He’s been a big influence on me and (has made) a big impact on me on and off the court. “
To this day, the rising NBA star appreciates T.J.’s advice and continued guidance.
“We don’t sit down and watch (game) film, but he’ll say some things if he sees it on the floor,” says Fredette. “It’s good to have him around and help me out with some things and just be there to help and for support.”
It hardly comes as a surprise that if he weren’t in the NBA, No. 7 believes he would still stay close to the sport, and much like T.J. has done for him, help aspiring athletes develop their skills.
“I’d probably be some type of coach, probably a basketball coach, and maybe a high school teacher,” he says.
His students would have plenty to learn from the kind-hearted and dynamic guard.
– Fredette, who also played baseball and football in high school – catching 43 passes for 910 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior and receiving interest from Penn State University – says his biggest hidden talent is juggling.
– Unlike T.J. and many of his Sacramento teammates, Jimmer doesn’t freestyle or plan to record any of his own rap songs.
“No, no, I don’t do that,” he laughs. “I’ll leave that to everybody else.”
Plus, check out more on Jimmer Fredette: Jimmer Central