One of the most recognizable names in basketball is headed back the NBA — and on the biggest stage.
Westchester Knicks star Jimmer Fredette has signed with the New York Knicks officially, confirmed by Phil Jackson.
— Westchester Knicks (@wcknicks) February 22, 2016
Jimmer’s game is as unique as his first name. He’s a modest 6-2, 195 pounds by NBA standards, but his ability to score in bunches made him the No. 10 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, and allowed him to play on three NBA rosters before entering the NBA D-League Draft at the start of November. The Knicks’ Development League affiliate selected him No. 2 overall.
Fredette dazzled crowds and opponents alike during a tremendous four years at BYU before entering the NBA. He capped off a stellar collegiate career by leading the country in scoring at 28.9 points per game and taking home the Wooden Award as the nation’s top player.
Since his days at BYU he’s played in 233 NBA contests, most recently as member of the New Orleans Pelicans to start this season before being waived and joining the Westchester Knicks with the hopes of revitalizing a style of play that the nation won’t soon forget. In Westchester he was able to recapture the mojo that made him a household name, averaging 22.3 points per game, the fourth highest scoring mark in the league.
“I don’t let people affect me,” Fredette said after going for 37 points in his NBADL debut on Nov. 30. “People have different opinions of your career and how you’ve played and all that and they’re entitled to their opinions. I know I can play in the NBA and I can be a very good player in the NBA. I’m excited to be able to start here.”
He’s proved his worth and then some in Westchester. His seminal moment of the year came in last week’s NBA D-League All-Star Game, when he dropped a record 35 points en route to being named the game’s MVP. It was a clear statement from the baby-faced baller that he has a lot more left in the tank.
“Every single night I try to go out there and play the best that I can,” Fredette said after his showcase in Toronto. “Not necessarily [for] validation, but just to show people, you know, I can play still.”
The Knicks apparently heard him loud and clear, calling him up from the Westchester County Center to Madison Square Garden. Fredette has always shone biggest under the brightest lights — the best performance of his NBA career came in 2014 at MSG when he was member of the Sacramento Kings. Jimmer went into full-on Jimmer-mode that night, finishing with a career-high 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting in just 27 minutes on floor.
Fredette grew up three hours north of the Garden in Glens Falls, and with no NBA team in upstate New York, the Knicks were the next best thing. Fredette said he was raised watching the Knicks teams of the ’90s led by Allan Houston — now the Westchester Knicks’ GM.
Monday represents the next step in this homecoming story, as Jimmer Fredette, New York Knick, is a reality.