On courts around the nation, young players who dream of playing in the NBA never think of much outside of the actual game. You imagine yourself atop the elbow, one-on-one against your defender, swishing the Championship clinching bucket after pushing off your defender. Okay – maybe that’s a bit too real but as a youngster, your dreams are never entrenched with the reality of what could happen, if you did eventually get drafted in the NBA.
For Sacramento Kings guard Jimmer Fredette, those dreams became a stark reality during his rookie season where the former Cougar struggled to keep up with the NBA lifestyle. Fredette, who was in Orem recently, partaking in his book tour, sat down with The Universe where he told Haley Bissegger the hardest part of his freshman campaign wasn’t the actual game – it was everything other than that:
“The basketball is pretty much what you expected. The travel schedule is a lot different, but the stuff outside of basketball is what you don’t think about when you’re a young kid – the business part of it,” Fredette said. “So that is something that is different. When you dream about playing basketball you don’t dream about the business side of it as well.”
The former college player of the year is a bit of an enigma – leading a non-self inflected persona that rivals that of NBA superstars, so his off the court responsibilities are far greater than the vast majority. It was clear that the constant strain of being a big name NBA player, combined with a coaching change, lack of training camp, shortened season among many other scenarios weighed heavy on the 23 year old’s mind.
Now with a full training camp to come and an idea of what to expect, Fredette is expecting a different outcome for the upcoming season:
“I feel a lot more prepared going through a year and knowing what I have to work on and knowing the level you’re going against. I’m excited for this year and ready to get better.”