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BYU notebook: Jimmer talks about Hall of Fame induction

By Brian E. Preece - Herald Correspondent | Sep 27, 2021

Former BYU superstar Jimmer Fredette takes a photo with his daughter during the the game against South Florida at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2021. (Courtesy BYU Photo)

Jimmer Fredette was honored at halftime of Saturday’s BYU football game against South Florida, alongside four other 2021 inductees to the BYU Hall of Fame.

Joining Fredette in the BYU Hall of Fame were former Cougar baseball star Brian Banks, athletic trainer and contributor Gaye Merrill, 7-time track and field All-American Amy Menlove Otis, and current BYU Women’s Golf coach and past All-American Carrie Summerhays Roberts.

Fredette is still much beloved by the Cougar faithful as witnessed by the loud ovation shown at halftime by the fans, and it’s not something he takes for granted.

“I can’t believe it,” Fredette said. “They (the fans) have been so supportive, wherever I’ve been or how things have been going. They’ve always been supportive to me and my family and to get that ovation is something I will never forget.”

Fredette is also proud to be inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame and what it represents to the basketball program.

“It’s surreal, it hasn’t quite hit me to be honest.” Fredette said. “There’s not many players that are in the Hall of Fame, especially basketball players and I’m proud to be honored and to be able to have that. It’s really special.”

Fredette is very excited about BYU joining the Big 12. While there is plenty to be thrilled about in regards to football, the bounties of joining the Big 12 perhaps loom even larger in men’s basketball where the Big 12 boasts the returning NCAA champions in Baylor and storied programs like Kansas. Beyond that, Houston is coming into the Big 12 just like BYU, and the Houston Cougars reached the Final Four in 2020.

“It’s a great thing for the school and the basketball program,” Fredette said. “You’re going to be playing against the best of the best pretty much every night, which is awesome.”

Fredette’s immediate plans are a bit up in the air as COVID-19 and travel restrictions might impact his playing overseas. Fredette last played professionally in China for the Shanghai Sharks. The 2020-21 season in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) was truly noteworthy for Fredette, both good and bad. He set the franchise record for most 3-pointers made in franchise history. But due to the pandemic, Fredette, along with many other foreign players, was forced to leave China. So Fredette’s playing career in China is still a bit cloudy, and he’s in a wait-and-see mode.

“I’m here waiting for a little bit,” Fredette said. “I’ll be somewhere during the year, but I’m not sure exactly where yet. I’m going to enjoy my time here with my family right now, I’ll figure that out that in a few weeks probably.”

BYU game notes: BYU moved to 4-0 on its season, but is it too early to talk about running the table?

On paper, it appears that Boise State (2-2 but with close losses to Central Florida and to undefeated Oklahoma State), who the Cougars will host in two weeks, and Baylor (4-0), who BYU will visit in three weeks in Waco, are the toughest opponents BYU could face on its schedule going forward.

Games at Washington State and USC, which seemed daunting at the start of the season, don’t seem nearly as scary now. Washington State is 1-3 and USC is 2-2 with two of its losses being at home in the Coliseum including a 45-27 setback Saturday against perennial PAC-12 doormat Oregon State.

Player superlatives: Baylor Romney filled in admirably for Jaren Hall, completing 20 of 25 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns, one of which was to his brother Gunner.

Gunner Romney caught five passes for 119 yards to lead the Cougar receivers. Puka Nacua also went over 100 yards receiving hauling in five balls for 102 yards. All total, BYU compiled 443 total yards offense.

It took four games but BYU had its first kickoff return off the season. It didn’t go particularly well as Caleb Christensen returned the ball out to the 17-yard line.

Extra points: It was another beautiful night for a football game in Provo. The temperature was 72 degrees at kickoff with a gentle breeze from the northwest which made it an optimal environment for the fans.

BYU football does have a losing record in something, as for the third time in four games, the opposing team won the coin toss. The Bulls elected to defer their choice to the second half.

The announced attendance at LaVell Edwards Stadium was 60,219.

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