GOING BACK TO UTAH

That’s Al out there wandering around amongst some amazing rock formations in St. George, Utah.

I have always said that everyone who lives in the East should visit the West, and everyone in the West should visit the East.  I have had the great pleasure and fortune of living in one and visiting the other many times.  Each one is unique and each one has it’s own kind of beauty.  Utah has the Wasatch Mountains and the East has the Adirondack Mountains.  Both spectacular, both impressive.  I could spend a lot of time talking about the differences in the East and the West but this post is about our September 2-week stay in Utah.  I think below these first few paragraphs, I will just show you the great time we had instead of just talking about it.

Two of our children went to Brigham Young University and the other one went to school out here in the East.  When our son Jimmer was given a scholarship to play for BYU, we knew we would have to spend a lot of time out there if we wanted to see his games.  This is no lie….the entire 4 years that he played, we literally only went from our daughter Lindsay’s house in Taylorsville, Utah, down to Provo, Utah (about 40 minutes away) to see the games and sometimes visit with friends. We never had a chance to do any sightseeing at all.  About the extent of it was seeing whatever there is to see on the I-15 highway down to the Marriot Center where they played the games. I never got sick of seeing those gigantic mountains out of our front and side windows, but it would have been nice to see other gigantic mountains in Utah too. 

Well this past trip to Utah, we were able to finally do just that.  We traveled out for our annual (Jimmerosity) Fredette Family Foundation golf tournament… but this time we stayed a little longer than usual to be able to visit our daughter and her family in the Salt Lake City region.  We also traveled down to St. George, Utah to see my sweet and talented youngest sister, Tish, 2 of her kids and families, and her husband Jim.  Jim, by the way, is the greatest tour guide of all time….even convinced me (who is kind of afraid of heights) to go up on the highest section of the red rocks. Glad I did.  I saw quite a view. He even enlightened me on how to take a panoramic view picture on my phone.  Thank you Jim.  I never knew I had that on my phone! 

What a great, action-packed time we had!  I loved seeing my daughter Lindsay and her family for a while. It’s the first time I saw them since their move back to Utah. We had so much fun. The only tough thing for us was that Jimmer wasn’t able to be there at his golf tournament for the first time in 7 years because he is playing in Greece now and their season starts very early.  His wife Whitney did a great job in filling in with the ceremonial Tee Off and the little thank you speech at the luncheon.  Our President and CEO, Blair Giles, who always does a wonderful job organizing the event, was able to get a video set up of Jimmer interacting with kids and parents at many fun events and activities throughout the year.  So it kind of felt like he was there. 

Instead of writing more, I will just show you our trip in pictures and video.  Here we go!

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This is the East in October of  this year…both pretty amazing. I’ll show more later.

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This is Utah in September of this year….

 

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Lindsay in the backyard.  She’s still real competitive.  Good form Linz! Her husband Brent watching.

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She’s taking on her son, Jason in a game of knockout.

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Handsome Tyler giving me a smile.

 

 

 

 

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Chris always active and swinging in the peach tree.

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Beautiful little Shay

 

Fun times with my daughter and her family.

Flag football league games, soccer, climbing trees, feeding the chickens, BYU football game, riding bikes, fun school science fair, jumping on the tramp, basketball and more…

 

Our annual Fredette Family Foundation (Jimmerosity) golf tournament

This first picture is how it always starts out at the Marriot Hotel.  Blair and Cynthia always make sure we all our greeted with this big box of chocolate chip cookies.  They are so good! Thank you to them.  The second picture is our view from the hotel window.  I never get over how incredible those mountains are with the famous Y planted right in the middle.

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A sign along the course to remind us all to treat people well and combat bullying everywhere. That’s a BYU Jimmer picture many years ago but I still love it.

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Whitney with kids and cousin Jason on the patio of Sleepy Ridge. So fun to be together for a few hours.

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Shay trying to get her shoe on. Serious business!

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Little Wesley having fun

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Seeing this little face for only the second time.

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A breakaway from the Tournament..First birthday for the Wonnacott Twins and Wesley

Lunch after the tournament….and prizes for the winners!

 

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Whitney filling in for Jimmer. She did a great job!

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Lunch and award ceremony

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This guy won a signed Steve Young jersey. He was so happy to win that. Sorry for the blur.  He walked by too fast.

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Al and Blair thanking everyone at the end. Sorry I couldn’t get the videos to work on this thing.

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Video of the past year with Jimmer events.  This is just a picture but in person they had a video running of many different activities.

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Al and I with our grandchildren all at once for the first time. Love these kids! Wonderful memories of our 2019 Fredette Family Foundation Golf Tournament

Whitney did a great job filling in for Jimmer during the awards luncheon.  Al and Blair alway say a few words of thanks to all that attended and give updates on some of the things our Fredette Family Foundation is accomplishing.  All because of the support and generous donations that we receive. We can’t give enough thanks to all of our volunteers and sponsors for helping us pull off another successful tournament.  We absolutely can’t do it without them.

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Our visit to St. George…way down south in Utah. Thank you, Tish and Jim, for the wonderful visit and hospitality.  Here she is in her kitchen.  She tells her husband Jim, who is a jack of all trade, what she wants and he builds it.  She did that painting on her wall.  She’s a talented, creative gal! It was so much fun to see them.

 

 

 

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Here are some pictures of what it is like in the East in the Fall season where we live and some pictures of Utah and their magnificent mountains and rock formations.  They both look different at different times of the year.  The Fall foliage this year was beautiful but it came later than usual.  Some years are better than others.  It all depends on the weather conditions.   In the East, we have many, many lakes and trees.  All of us, no matter where we live,  seem to take the beauty around us for granted.

Here’s the East in October this year.

 

Here are the magnificent, majestic mountains and rock formations of Utah. These pictures do not do them justice.  They look almost like drawings.  They are breathtaking in person.

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Thank you for your visit to my blog.  Sorry it’s so long but pictures sometimes are worth more than the words. I had a wonderful time out there with my family and friends in Utah.  I am thankful for the blessings we have, the experiences we have, and the people we have met along the way.

 

Until next time…

Kay

 

 

My Father’s Writing

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The other day I was looking through some old pictures and old memories that I had stored away and among  them was a card that was written by my father.  It was an anniversary card to my husband and I. He must have sent some money in it because at the end he said to go out and have a nice dinner on him.

My mother died in 1999 so it must have been written somewhere in the 9 years that he lived after her passing. He wrote a very sentimental note to us about treasuring every moment that we had together.  Looking back I realize that as he wrote it, he must have been suffering his own personal pain of loosing his wife (my mother) of 57 years.  As he wrote those words, I’m sure he was thinking how fast time goes by and that he never thought that he would be sitting there without her. He always said to me “I always thought that I would go first.”  So besides the anguish that he felt of loosing his lifelong partner, he had anxiety about living on his own.

It was with a lot of sadness and concern that my siblings and I watched him struggle to come to terms with life without her.  I must say though, even at his age,  being left alone was a growing experience for him because all of a sudden he had to do everything that my mother used to do for him.   We were proud of him as he learned and handled the day to day responsibilities that my mother always took care of for them.  He was always too busy working outside the home to even notice all the little things that had to be done in a household. Little by little he managed to carve out a life and a routine for himself.  Not saying that he didn’t miss and think about my mother everyday, but the pain of it all lessened as time went on.  Of course all of his children pitched in to help in any way that we could and as he got older and more forgetful, it became more of a worry to us. I think he may have banged into a few different things in Whitehall with his big Cadillac, that we weren’t aware of……yes the car situation becomes an issue eventually in every family with elderly parents to monitor. I think our kids may have to wrestle the keys out of my husband’s hands.  That’s ok, you may be able to take him by then.   Ha ha

When I saw the writing of my father, a flood of emotions came over me. Wow he really was here. He was our father and we had a life with him. After so many years when your parents have passed, the memories fade and it almost seems like a dream. You remember bits and pieces and certain times you had with them, maybe something they said or did…mostly good, and maybe some not so good, but then you think, no matter what, they loved you, sacrificed for you, and did their best.

Some children don’t have the blessing of a father in their home but I have seen many uncles, grandfathers, older brothers, or good responsible male friends step up to the plate and be good role models for the children. It goes without saying that the mother in the home is without a doubt one of the most powerful forces and examples to the children…but I am just talking about fathers today.

My father was a printer….not a cursive writer and it was unique to him. It’s funny because my son Jimmer prints his notes also.  He signs his name in cursive but other than that, it’s all printed.  The inclination to print must have been hereditary in some way because I know Jimmer never really saw his grandfather print.  It is just Jimmer’s style.

My father had a long list of accomplishments in his life, father of 6 children, good athlete, served in both the Army Air Corp, US Navy, teacher, iron worker in the summers, director of athletics, high school principal and one of his most notable and enjoyable positions was that of a high school coach.  Until the day he died, his athletes affectionately called him “Coach.”  Although he coached every sport that was offered in our small school, his main stomping ground was down at the “Playground” in Whitehall.  In fact, I remember helping to hand out the football uniforms every year along with my brothers and I proudly got in all of the team pictures taken on the field each year.  Such fond memories of that field we all have.  It was named “The Clint Taft Memorial Field.”  “Legacy of a Coach”  He would have been so happy to see the monumental stone that was erected for him.  My Mom would have loved it too.

Granddaughter Lindsay and Grandson TJ. Jimmer was away at college at this time.

Sports was something that sustained him all of the years that he was on his own after my mother died.  He would scour the paper to see what sporting event he could attend that day. He was fiercely loyal to his hometown teams of Whitehall, NY.  My brother, Lee, was a football coach in a town about 45 minutes away from Whitehall.  Dad made sure he drove up to all of his games, to not only enjoy them, but also to support him.  As I talked about, it was a time of Dad’s life when he probably shouldn’t have been driving, but he did it anyways because the desire to see his son’s football games overshadowed everything else. He loved it and it was something for him to look forward to every week. I accompanied him to all of those games and it was a chance for us to spend hours of good quality time together.  Lee was such a good coach and I know Dad was proud of him…. and maybe relived his coaching days through him. Actually my brother Jerry was a coach for a short amount of time in Luzerne when they had 8 man football.  Fun to watch him too.  He was also a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable coach. We all never missed those games either…it was always a family affair if we were living locally. My brother Jimmy was a great basketball coach in Connecticut for years but it was too far away to see the game regularly but if it was possible, my father would have been there at every game. Me too! 

Sports was in his blood. He played it, he coached it, and he watched it until the day he died. He also attended all of my children’s games (his grandchildren) that were at least a half hour of driving away.   Both my mother and father would attend my son Tj’s games, Lindsay’s games, and Jimmer’s little league games if it was possible.  For little league, you could see them sitting behind the backstop in their fold up chairs.  I still can remember the feeling I had, after my mother’s passing, when I looked behind the backstop at the game and there he was…. sitting alone without my mother until Al and I went to join him. Even if we weren’t there I know he would have stayed to enjoy the game. Took some getting used to seeing him come in the ball park alone, but it made me feel good that he still enjoyed every minute of it.  After all, it was competition and it didn’t matter if it was tiddly winks, he would enjoy the process of the back and forth effort to win.

He was a wonderful man, father and “Gramps” to us all.  My son Tj called him the king of the one liners.  He was kind, compassionate, competitive, funny, a kidder, and of all that he had going on in his life, one of his greatest joys was being a father of 6 children and grandfather of 14 grandchildren. He was an only child himself, so a big family was something that he never had, but wished for, when he was young.  He had that large family eventually with us 3 girls and 3 boys.

So Father’s day was last weekend. I honored the great fathers in my life… my husband, one of my sons who is a father now, my brothers, my son-in-law, my children’s friends who are now fathers, and all in our extended families that are fathers, but my thoughts gravitated to my own father, who I loved and lost in this life but have no doubt that I will be reunited with him one day.  It’s the plan and God keeps his promises to us.

So I hope everyone enjoyed their special Father’s day.  You are all an integral and special part of your children’s lives. You only get one chance at this parenthood thing. Even though it’s inevitable that you will look back with some regrets, make a conscious effort to give it your very best shot.  I can promise you that giving your children time and attention will be the greatest accomplishment in your life.  Never underestimate the importance of fathers or father figures in a child’s life.

Those 18 years or so you have with them go by faster than you can imagine.

Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time…see ya.   

PS…I wrote this in green because it was his favorite color.  It’s funny that Jimmer’s uniform colors are now green.   For you Dad. Thinking of you.  Happy Birthday…

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PS  This picture of his writing was the last that I got from him.  You can see that it was getting a little wobbly from age… but his heart was all in it for me.

 

 

 

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Recap on Jimmer’s All-Star weekend

Sunday night, with the spotlight shining brightly upon them, the superstars of the CBA put on a show for the wide-eyed Beijing crowd. The CBA All-Star weekend was well underway, and Jimmer was honored and excited to be a part of it. It turned out to be a really big weekend for Jimmer. In front of swarms of media, thousands of excited fans, and even some fellow former NBA colleagues, such as Stephon Marbury, Andre Blatch, and Marshon Brooks. . . Jimmer was able to capitalize on this wonderful opportunity.

He started out the weekend by unveiling his new shoe to the Chinese public as well as the world of social media. His shoe deal with 361 is now official, and for the rest of the season he will be sporting his sharp new shark blue sneakers. A lot of people have been asking us where they can get his shoe, and I promise as soon as that information is available we will be sure to make an immediate announcement!

Jimmer went on from unveiling his new shoe, to shooting his way into the finals of the 3-point shooting contest which was held Sunday night at halftime of the main event. If you haven’t heard by now, I’m proud to announce that Jimmer came away the 3-point king, winning the competition with a high of 22 points in the championship round! His 3-point prowess was on full display as he dazzled the crowd with a barrage of beyond the ark bombs, and in the end was rewarded with the CBA 3-point contest trophy.

From there Jimmer went on to have a very successful All-Star game, where he lead all scorers with a 32 point performance, knocking down a team high 6 treys. Unfortunately he fell just short of MVP honors due to his team losing a nail biter that went right down to the wire.

On the bright side however, during the All-Star game Jimmer was able record his first overseas dunk, rising up and throwing it down off of a steal that he got near half court in the 3rd quarter. His teammates rose up with smiles and excitement upon seeing Jimmer catch his first CBA jam. Even Marbury, who was on the opposing team, couldn’t help but run up to Jimmer with a big smile and give him a hug. At mid court Jimmer and Marbury, the former high school legend from Coney Island, who Jimmer had eagerly watched play in the Glens Falls Civic Center when he was only 7 years old, embraced with smiles as Steph said to him. . . “I didn’t know you could dunk?!” It was a special moment to cap off a very special weekend.

Jimmer said he had a wonderful time at the CBA All-Star festivities and he was shown a lot of love and support by coaches, players, media, and the fans.  He enjoyed his time in Beijing, but now it’s back to business! The home-stretch of the season is now upon the Shanghai Sharks. Having lost 2 straight for the first time of the season coming into All-Star break, can they re-group and get back on the dominating track where they had been throughout most of the season? With a big target on their back, it won’t be easy. It will, without a doubt, be a tough fight to the finish for the Sharks as they continue to determinedly push forward on their quest for a CBA title. Stay tuned to see how the rest of this exciting season unfolds!

Here are some great behind the scene’s pictures of Jimmer this weekend, along with some footage of him catching his dunk courtesy of Jimmerwatch.

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Jimmer’s All-Star CBA weekend

Here are some good behind the scenes shots of Jimmer at All-Star weekend in Beijing. Today he advanced to the finals of the three point competition which will be held tomorrow at halftime of the All-Star game. He’s had a great time so far hanging out with Stephon Marbury and other star players throughout the league. I will have more pictures and a full recap of the weekend by Monday so stay tuned!

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friendly visit to a school….

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Bejing air is tough….had to protect their lungs coming in to the school.

 

 

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practicing in the gym before All Star Weekend begins…

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All of the ALL- STARS 2016-2017 season

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warming up on the court for the 3 point contest…

 

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ready for his turn…my father must have had good seats to take this picture.

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Nice arena….nice uniform

 

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Jimmer’s up…

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made it to the finals tomorrow night at half time during the game.

 

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Shanghai Shark reps at the game…

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Jimmer’s new signature shoe.  He is debuting them here at the All Star game. He has partnered with a sporting goods company called 361.

 

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If you want a Shanghai Sharks T shirt, go to http://www.kayz3.com

MEETING BILL WALTON

jimmer-bill-walton-maxLast week I mentioned that my brother recently had the opportunity to catch up with former Celtic great and NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton (who you can see in this picture that Jimmer recently sent me), decked out in his trademark tie dye tee-shirt as he stands next to Jimmer and his never hard to find 7 foot 3 inch teammate – who I know simply as Max. What I didn’t tell you about, was the unforgettable time when I myself had the opportunity to meet big Bill Walton in the tunnel at the old Arco Arena in Sacramento.

One of the many cool things about having a brother in the NBA is that when you go to the games, you get to enter the arena through the same tunnel that the players run through to take the floor. Never one to get star-struck myself, I grew pretty accustomed to walking shoulder to shoulder with some of basketball’s finest superstars such as Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant. In fact, when walking out of the tunnel to take my seat at these NBA games, I never knew who I might run into. Occasionally, celebrities ranging from Floyd Mayweather(who is a regular at NBA arena’s), to Drake, to Ben Stiller would stroll past me. My walks through the tunnel also would provide me with some pretty cool experiences, such as –
physically running into Russell Westbrook (who was very gracious, saying excuse me when he nearly ran me over in the hallway), to hanging out with MMA
star Urijah Faber, to even having a great conversation with New York City native and NBA strongman Ron Artest. However, with all of these really cool experiences that I was able to have in the tunnel, I would have to say that the coolest of these experiences, was the time that I met my man Bill Walton.

I remember when Jimmer was with the Kings, before one of his games I was chatting with one of the friendly security staff members at Arco Arena, when all of the sudden I heard this extremely familiar voice echoing throughout the tunnel. I turned around to see who it was, and right there standing in front of me was the legend himself – the one and only former Celtic superstar Big Bill Walton. He was coming up to shake the staff members hand whom I was speaking with, before taking to the court to call the game – as one of the Kings TV announcers. After the greeting, this staff member who I’d grown to know well, was gracious enough to introduce me to Bill. Upon hearing that I was TJ Fredette – Jimmer’s older brother – you would have thought that I was the celebrity with the way Bill excitedly reacted. Bill reached out, gave me a long firm hand shake and a smile, and said to me – “So this is the great older brother I keep hearing about.” I guess it’s fair to say I was very taken back by Bill’s reaction to meeting me. Here he is, One of the greatest NBA players of all time, a Hall of Famer, and a legend. . . and he was excited to meet me?!

We continued from there to have a great conversation for the next 15 minutes or so, until a Kings PR person had to come up and tell Bill, he’d better hurry and get to the court before the game started. Bill proceeded to talk to me for another 5 minutes – to the point where I almost felt inclined to remind him he needed to get out to the court and get ready for the broadcast.

Eventually Bill did break away and take his place behind the scores table to call the game. But all I could think of after my conversation with him was… what an amazing guy. Even with the great level of status and celebrity that he has in NBA circles, this man not only gracious enough to take the time to go out of his way to talk to me, but he also made sure that he showed a genuine interest in me as a person. He could have easily just said hi and went on his way – but he didn’t. Instead he showed me the type of respect and personal attention that made me feel like I was special. Now that really says a lot about Bill Walton as a human being in my eyes. If only we all treated the people we meet on a regular basis with that same positivity and respect, regardless of who they are and what they have accomplished in their life. I know that if we all did, this world would be such a better place.

Soon after I took my seat for the game that night, I received a text message from one of my friends who was watching the game back home. It turns out that Bill had also met the rest of my family that night in the tunnel, and when he took the air to call that game, one of the early statements that he made on air, was this – “I just had the  opportunity of meeting Jimmer Fredette’s family including his older brother TJ in the back tunnel, and I must say – it was one of the greatest moments in my life. What a special family.”

Now I know that Bill was only joking when he said “it was one of the greatest moments in his life,” and it was certainly just said in fun, but the fact is, the man displayed incredible class with how he treated us, and he left my family and I with a wonderful memory – that we will surely never forget.

Jimmer Update – Career high 51 pts.

Around 4:30 A.M. this past Friday morning (5:30 P.M. Shanghai time), while I laid fast asleep in my bed, my little brother Jimmer was just leaving his apartment in Shanghai to go to the nearby Pudong Yuanshen Gymnasium, where his Shanghai Sharks would soon be taking the court to battle the widely revered Guangdong Southern Tigers. As Jimmer stepped out of his apartment, walked by the stray dog that hangs out in front of his building (which he has named Hufflepuff), and entered the car which was ready and waiting to take him to the arena, he mentally went into his zone, focusing on nothing but the game. With a team featuring 3 very formidable former NBA players in Donald Sloan, China’s renowned Jianlian Yi, and former two time NBA All-Star (as well as Jimmer’s former Chicago Bulls teammate) Carlos Boozer, Jimmer knew that the Tigers would be his biggest challenge yet in his overseas career. When Jimmer entered the  Arena, he could tell that the vibe was very different than on any other game night up to that point. There was the kind of buzz in the air that only can truly be felt when a major event is about to take place. Jimmer is no stranger to that kind of buzz, and possibly more than anything else, it is that very kind of fuel that feeds him as an elite athlete.

So once this highly anticipated match up began, the 4,000 plus fans (just short of the arena’s maximum capacity) would waste no time in expressing their excitement with each Shark basket. Jimmer started out very patiently, similar to a boxer feeling out his opponent in the early rounds of a fight. With a bigger defender draped all over him by design, Jimmer had to strategically lull his defender to sleep before exploding towards the ball, creating just enough separation to receive passes from his teammates. After getting into the lane, creating contact, and working his way to the free throw line a couple times, Jimmer started to heat up. Then midway through the first quarter, Jimmer dribbled off of a screen and hit a tough, highly contested 3 from the top of the key. One possession later. . . Jimmer dribbles up on a fast break, stops on a dime, and sinks another contested 3 from the right wing. The crowd eats it up. They were absolutely loving it, and after Jimmer’s 2nd consecutive 3 pointer, you could hear the crowd gasp with anticipation the next time the ball was in his hands. So in typical Jimmer fashion, with the momentum all on his side and an arena full of fans ready to explode, he shows Shanghai where the term Jimmer range came from, as he pulled up and stuck a 3rd consecutive 3 pointer, this one from well beyond the ark, bringing the shark fans to their feet.

From that point on, Jimmer never let up. His dazzling drives to the basket and eye popping 3 pointers excited the crowd all night long, as Jimmer helped lead his team to a 111 – 88 victory over the Tigers, with a career high 51 points! By the end of the night, the fans were chanting MVP each time that Jimmer stepped to the foul line. Obviously this chant was all in fun, but even so, it certainly was a wonderful sign of respect, and a very congenial way for the fans to show how much they appreciated Jimmer’s amazing performance. Even NBA Hall of Famer and Celtic legend, Bill Walton, who was in the building enjoying the game Friday night, had to smile ear to ear as he watched Jimmer (who Bill knows well from his days announcing for the Sacramento Kings) put on a show. After the game, Bill, along with part time ESPN basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla, who was also in attendance, came into the Sharks locker room to chat with Jimmer, and congratulate him on a job well done.  Jimmer also had the chance to catch up with his former teammate and friend Carlos Boozer, who has always been very supportive of him. Carlos joked with Jimmer that despite wanting to win the game, he couldn’t help but enjoy the great show that Jimmer put on for the hometown fans.

In the end, this incredible performance by Jimmer sparked feelings of nostalgia for me personally. From Jimmer’s 30 point performance against Florida in the first round of the NCAA Tournament – where he lead BYU to their first tournament win since the Danny Ainge era. . . to the 49 point performance against San Diego State, in what was at that time called the biggest game in Mountain West Conference history – and in my mind, the game that birthed Jimmermania. . . to his 52 point performance in Las Vegas against a New Mexico team that had beaten them twice already that season, to his 24 point performance as a Sacramento King against the Knicks at the Garden – the Mecca of basketball, where the lights shine brighter than anywhere else on the planet. . . to now. . . to now where Jimmer’s 51 point performance, in the biggest game in his career in China gave him a new career high, and a very meaningful victory. Now, if there is one thing that I’ve learned about my little brother – it’s that when the stage is at it’s biggest, and the lights are at their brightest. . . that is when Jimmer is at his best!

After winning another game last night (Sunday night) with a 37 point game from Jimmer, the Shanghai Sharks are now 6 and 0! How far can the sharks take it from here?  Stay tuned to find out.