Times and Seasons has selected Jimmer Fredette as Mormon of the Year for 2011. James Taft “Jimmer” Fredette began 2011 leading BYU’s basketball team to the NCAA championships, leading many to expect that the team might make the later rounds of the playoffs. While those hopes were unrealized (in part due to the sudden withdrawal of BYU’s next most important player, Brandon Davies), BYU’s performance in the tournament set a high point that hasn’t been rivaled by a BYU team since 1981, and Jimmer earned every major National Player of the Year honor, including the Wooden Award, the Naismith Award, the Adolph Rupp Trophy, and the Oscar Robertson Trophy. After finishing the season and graduating, Fredette was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks, who promptly traded him to the Sacramento Kings as part of a previously arranged deal. Although his first season was cut short by the basketball strike this past year, Fredette played his first game December 17th. He is currently the only Mormon playing in the NBA. Central to Fredette’s impact is his popularity among Mormons, which was so strong that it attracted national attention, coining terms like “Jimmermania.” Particularly fascinating, in our social-networking informed world, were the reactions to an early February Facebook post attacking Jimmermania, which extended to something like 600 comments in less than 10 hours (250 in one hour alone — see the archive here – no, I didn’t count them). The thread itself was…
Carlos Boozer on Utah
As one who has turned into something of Boozer-apologist this past year in the face of attacks on him by some disgruntled Jazz fans, I was buoyed to see an account of a recent Boozer interview yesterday in the Deseret News. When the Miami-area sports station host interviewing Boozer called Utah “gorgeous” but “a horrible place to live, horrible,” Boozer said: “Nah, it’s not that bad. You know, I’m raising my kids out there. It’s pretty nice. We have a good time out there with our basketball team, successful of course. That’s the frontcourt of it, the most important thing of it. And it’s a great place to raise your kids. And it is beautiful.” The host kept at it though, asking: “But those Mormon people are crazy, aren’t they? I mean, the Mor…” At which point Boozer, cut in saying: “Nah, they’re not bad at all. They’re not bad at all. Yeah. Not bad at all.” Here’s hoping Utah is able to keep him (and draft a decent center)… or next season could be a painful one for Jazz fans.