Jimmer Fredette gained national fame during his collegiate career at Brigham Young University, where he was the leading scorer in all of NCAA Division I basketball during his senior season. He 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.
The Contract is the inspiring story of Jimmer’s journey from the playground to the pros. It’s the story of two brothers from a blue-collar Mormon family in upstate New York: Jimmer—trying to make it to the NBA. And his brother T.J.—trying to stay alive due to a debilitating illness. Each a lifeline to each other.
Along the way, T.J. wrote a contract for Jimmer to sign. It read, “I, James T. Fredette, agree . . . to do the work and make the necessary sacrifices to be able to reach my ultimate goal of playing in the NBA.”
Jimmer signed the contract, T.J. signed as the witness, and as Jimmer’s fame spread, the contact became a prominent part of the story.
Here you will find stories from Jimmer’s childhood and teen years as well as his special bond with his brother. In addition, you will learn more about Jimmer’s college basketball experience, his doubts, his work ethic, his unwavering family support, his insights about the NBA draft, and the role his faith plays in his life.
As T.J. said, “You did it, bro. Contract fulfilled!”
|Publisher:||Shadow Mountain Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||6.34(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.91(d)|
|Age Range:||14 Years|
About the Author
Pat Forde is a national columnist for Yahoo! Sports, primarily covering college athletics. He previously worked for seven years at ESPN and 17 years at The Louisville Courier-Journal, where he won 16 national awards in the AP Sports Editors writing contests. His work has twice been included in The Best American Sports Writing, and he was nominated for the Pultizer Prize in 1990. Pat lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife and three children.
Read an Excerpt
At its core, this is a story of two brothers from a blue-collar religious family in upstate New York. Jimmer, you probably know about: on June 23, 2011, he was selected in the first round of the NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings with the No. 10 overall pick; he had won seven different awards as the 2011 National Player of the Year in college basketball; he led all of NCAA Division I in scoring, averaging 28.9 points per game; he carried BYU to one of its finest seasons in school history; and he became a national sensation in the process.
He was such a big deal in 2011 that he changed the language. He became both a one-name superstar—while the entertainment world had Bieber, the basketball world had Jimmer—and a verb. In hoops nomenclature, opponents strafed by Fredette’s shooting had been “Jimmered.”
But to know Jimmer, you must also know T.J.
T.J. Fredette is seven years older than Jimmer and different in many ways. Jimmer is measured in almost everything he says and does; T.J. is glib, extemporaneous, and witty. Jimmer is slow to anger and difficult to lure into a confrontation; T.J. at times possesses a hair-trigger temper. Jimmer was a solid student when the subject matter interested him; T.J. was rarely interested in any academic pursuits. Jimmer was a shooter; T.J. was a distributor.
Their common ground was Jimmer’s game and what it would take to maximize it. Toward that end, T.J. served as his childhood roommate, mentor, coach, adviser, motivator, and confidant. He’s been more involved on a daily basis in Jimmer’s success than any other person—drilling him, advising him, cajoling him, challenging him, lifting him up when he was down, knocking him down when he got too high.
It was T.J. who took Jimmer to play “prison ball.” It was T.J. who summoned all his creativity to invent drills that kept Jimmer interested in practicing fundamentals. And it was T.J. who wrote the handwritten contract that to this day remains taped to the wall above Jimmer’s bed in the Fredette home:
“I, James T. Fredette, agree on this day, January 27, 2007, to do the work and make the necessary sacrifices to be able to reach my ultimate goal of playing in the NBA.”
Jimmer signed the contract, T.J. signed as the witness, and a moment in Fredette family lore was cemented.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Bond 1
Chapter 2 Youth 17
Chapter 3 Faith 33
Chapter 4 Home 48
Chapter 5 Fear 66
Chapter 6 Trust 78
Chapter 7 Doubt 91
Chapter 8 Change 104
Chapter 9 Rise 118
Chapter 10 Fall 131
Chapter 11 Peak 147
Chapter 12 Race 165
Chapter 13 Dream 181