Why I Admire Jimmer!


Yes, he did attend the same university as I did. Yes, he is also the same faith as I am and yes, he was an incredible college basketball player. All those were reasons I ‘followed’ him when Jimmermania swept the country in 2011. Jimmer Fedette was on top of the world and won the college basketball player of the year, as well as other major sports awards. He was drafted in the first round of the NBA. It seemed the world was at his feet. Even the President of the United States knew his name and sang his praises. All of that gave me no reason to ‘admire’ this young athlete. No, admiration, at least from me, is given to those who show moral character.

This week Mr. Fredette was recalled to the NBA after having spent the last few months in the ‘D’ league; a sort of ‘developmental’ league for those who need, well, ‘developing.’ Before that he sat on the end of the bench of several NBA teams and then suffered the indignity of being cut by them and sent on his way. I might imagine that when you have accomplished what he did in college, and you have received the praises of the world, you could become quite bitter at how your professional career has turned out. The ‘blame game’ is so convenient. It’s the team, the coach, your teammates. The excuses are endless. He has earned my admiration because he has gone forward with a positive attitude. He has humbled himself and has taken all the criticism that comes with being tagged as a ‘bust.’ His new coach and teammates have, to some degree, minimized him as a player by calling him by the wrong name or indicating that they don’t even want him on the team. Jimmer doesn’t respond back by saying something negative or appearing offended. He just shows up and puts on the uniform. His humility is refreshing in a day of self-promoters.

I’m nearly 60 years old and there are so few of today’s athletes, no matter how talented, who show the humility, grace, and dignity of the athletes of yesteryear. It is so refreshing that such character in a young man screams out to be recognized. I’ve never bought an NBA jersey in my life. But when a young man shows such character, even an old man like me, would be proud to be ‘Jimmered,’ and wear it on his back!

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