Cougs’ Fredette cheered by those who knew Taft
For the starting point guard of the Brigham Young University mens basketball team, it comes down to a simple lesson.
"My mom would always tell me to ‘fauler through," said Jimmer Fredette, the sophomore guard for the Cougars and former Glens Falls High standout.
His mom, Kay, learned the advice she would give to her son from one of the most influential teachers and coaches in Whitehall Central School lore, Hall of Famer Clint Taft.
"She would always say it just like my grandfather did," said Fredette. "It was never ‘follow through,’ it was always ‘fauler through.’"
Fredette said that while his grandfather was in poor health during his varsity playing career and first season with the Cougars, he remembered the times that he spent with him when he was younger.
"My grandfather was a great guy," said Fredette. "He was a great coach. My family would always talk about him and what he did as a coach. For me, I always remember my grandmother and grandfather coming down and they would always take us to Wendy’s. I would get in the back of his truck and we would head out."
Fredette said that he also enjoyed going to Taft’s house on Sundays and going swimming in their pool.
As far as basketball, Fredette said his mom taught him many of the lessons that she heard while her father walked the sidelines for the Railroaders.
"My mom would always tell me the things that she would say," said Fredette.
Along with the memories of his grandfather and support of his family (his father, Al, attends most of the home games at Provo, Ut.), Fredette said that he is grateful for the support of the Glens Falls region, including Whitehall, where relatives and friends of Kay and the family always ask how he is doing.
"It’s great to be able to have that support like I do back home," said Fredette. "My mom and family tell me if someone says hello."
Fredette was recruited to play for BYU based on his skill but also because he is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who operates the college.
"If it was not for my membership in the church, I would not have been recruited to play out west," said Fredette. "The only other college in the west that contacted me was the University of Utah."
Fredette was recruited locally by Siena College, and nationally by Syracuse, Wake Forsest, Seton Hall, Marshall, Fordham, George Mason, West Virginia, Virginia Tech and NC State.
Fredette said he choose BYU in part because he is Mormon.
"I really believe that it did show that it’s not just about the hoops but about religion as well," said Fredette. "My religion is something that I love and I am glad that people in New York are aware of that fact."
While Fredette did not opt to leave after his freshman year at BYU to serve a two-year prosletyzing LDS Church mission, he does believe he is an example of his religion through his example on the basketball court.
"I think that anything that helps people come toward Jesus Christ and the Gospel is great," said Fredette.
Fredette started going to the BYU basketball camp after his sophomore season at Gelns Falls, and BYU took notice.
"They did a great job recruiting me," he said.
Fredette came off the bench last season as a reserve guard, with his minutes increasing throughout the season. His breakout game came in the NCAA tournament, where he started the second half and played a career-high 34 minutes.
In his second year on the team, Fredette is not only the starting point guard, he is also one of the most popular players on the BYU roster and part of the team’s promotional campaign alongside senior Lee Cummard (the 2008 Mountain West Conference player of the year) and junior Jonathan Tavernari.
"I expected to be able to come out here and make a difference," said Fredette about his quick rise to the top. "I have been able to contribute to this team in the way I thought that I could when I came out here. I wanted to make a difference."