One of the most widely known names in BYU basketball lore is contemplating a run at Olympic gold.
Jimmer Fredette, who earned Naismith Player of the Year honors his senior year as a Cougar and who played more than a decade in the pros from the NBA to overseas, was named to USA Basketball’s 3x3 AmeriCup men’s roster on Tuesday.
He recently told The Post-Star how this Olympic pursuit came about.
“I am doing some 3-on-3 basketball. Team USA asked me to come and see if it’s something I may be interested in, maybe looking to qualify for an Olympic run in the 2024 Olympics,” he told his hometown paper in Glen Falls, New York. “It’s been fun.”
As a part of the United States’ 3x3 AmeriCup roster, Fredette will participate in training camp from Oct. 31-Nov. 3 before the 2022 FIBA 3x3 AmeriCup, which runs Nov. 4-6 in Miami.
Team USA swept the men’s and women’s gold in the inaugural event last year.
On the men’s team, Fredette is joined by Canyon Berry, Kareem Maddox and Dylan Travis.
The U.S. AmeriCup women’s team will include Veronica Burton, Lexie Hull, NaLyssa Smith and Camille Zimmerman.
Fredette last played for the Shanghai Sharks in the 2020-21 season — where he made a name for himself as a high-scoring shooter in the CBA — and he told the Deseret News’ Dick Harmon in February he won’t be playing in China again, citing his desire to stay close to family.
He and his wife Whitney have three children, including a newborn.
“It’s been great, just awesome being home with the family and doing all the things a father is supposed to do. I’ve had a wonderful time,” Fredette said at the time from his home in Denver.
More recently, Fredette participated in The Basketball Tournament — the winner-take-all summer event with a $1 million cash prize — and the 2022 Red Bull USA Basketball East Regional, a 3x3 tournament, where his team went undefeated and won the event.
3x3 basketball made its Olympic debut in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The American men failed to qualify, and Latvia won gold in the men’s eight-team field. The U.S. won gold on the women’s side.
There are a few differences between the 5-on-5 version of basketball and 3x3, as outlined by CBS Sports’ Jack Maloney.
- The game is played on a half court.
- Contests last 10 minutes, or the first to 21 points.
- The scoring system is 1-point and 2-point baskets, compared to 2s and 3s, with free throws still counting for 1 point.
“With the 1s and 2s scoring system making shots from behind the arc even more valuable, Fredette could be a valuable addition to the American squad,” Maloney wrote. “Of course, that’s if Fredette decides to join the program and gets a roster spot. Likewise, Team USA’s men still have to qualify, something they failed to do in 2020.”
The 2024 Summer Olympics will be held in Paris.
Fredette told The Post-Star he’s had numerous offers to continue his basketball career beyond the Olympic opportunity, though he’s planning on being home for the holidays and then decide if there’s an opportunity that works with his desire to not spent a lot of time away from his family.
“It’s more about lifestyle now than about the money,” he said.
Getting that chance to perform in front of fans, though — like he did during The Basketball Tournament this past summer — is something Fredette said he’s still grateful for.
“People still enjoy watching me play basketball and I appreciate it so much,” he told The Post-Star. “I’ve had such a loyal fan base and people have really stuck by my side through the good and the bad and I have appreciated it through my whole career.”