Jimmer Fredette’s Latest (And Greatest?) Chapter: 3×3 U.S. Basketball Olympian

Jimmer Fredette’s Latest (And Greatest?) Chapter: 3×3 U.S. Basketball Olympian

Over the last two decades, Jimmer Fredette has authored a fascinating story about a basketball career that has featured highs and lows, ups and downs, sudden fame and relative obscurity.

Now 35 years old, Fredette knows that his story might be down to its final chapter. He also realizes, however, that this final chapter has a chance to be his greatest one yet.

“The Olympics is why I got into this,” began Fredette, who was recently named to the U.S. men’s 3×3 team for the Olympic Games Paris 2024. “It’s just a dream come true.”

Fredette’s story began in Glens Falls, New York, where he scored over 2,400 points in his high school career before heading to Brigham Young University. At BYU, Fredette scored nearly 2,600 career points — a Mountain West Conference record that still stands — and earned national player of the year honors in 2011.

From there, Fredette played in 241 NBA games over parts of six seasons and then spent time playing overseas, most notably in the Chinese Basketball Association. All these leagues and teams, of course, were 5-on-5 competitions. 

So when Fredette initially began playing 3×3 hoops in 2022 with an eye on making Team USA — and a long-term vision to one day play in the Paris Olympics — it wasn’t a guarantee that Fredette would be able to pick up the nuances of the new game.

“At first, I didn’t really know what I was doing,” Fredette said of 3×3 basketball, which made its Olympic debut in Tokyo in 2021 (although the U.S. men didn’t qualify that year). “But I love getting into the gym and improving and coming back better each year. My competitive side came out. I knew I could get so much better — and I still can get so much better.”

A 6-foot-2 playmaker, Fredette has always been a dynamic scorer with a willingness to find open teammates. Indeed, those traits come in handy in 3×3 basketball — a sport that prioritizes shooting, quickness and spacing. That said, Fredette has had to work diligently on his defense, rebounding and physicality, as 3×3 essentially leaves players with nowhere to hide. 

Each player on the court needs to be well-rounded, versatile and technically sound in order to ensure any level of team success.

“It’s very fast-paced and very competitive,” said Fredette, noting that 3×3 is a 10-minute game, or the first team to 21 points. “And it is scored using 2s and 1s, so the 2-pointer is worth so much more than the 1, so for me it’s perfect. I like to shoot 2s. I like to spread the floor and make baskets in bunches. I feel like it fits my game very well.”

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