The regular season is still a week away, but local fans are still making sure not to miss Jimmer Fredette's first time in an NBA uniform. Our Matt Hunter has more on the Glens Falls native's pre-season debut.
GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – Long before the NBA Draft in June and even earlier than Jimmer Fredette's four years at Brigham Young University, which resulted in his first name becoming a household name, Mike Harrington, 16, had a front row seat to the best show in Glens Falls.
"When I was in about third grade I was their [Glens Falls High School Basketball Team] ball boy and water boy,” said Harrington, who’s now a junior in high school. “I would travel with the team wherever they go and just watch them play."
Almost five years after Fredette's high school graduation, Harrington is still watching Section II's all-time leading scorer perform on the court, only now he and countless others in the Capital Region must watch on TV, as Fredette launches his NBA career.
"It was ridiculous seeing him score 30, 40 points a game,” Harrington said. “I would never think he'd end up to where he is now."
On Saturday night, Fredette and his new team, the Sacramento Kings, made their pre-season debut against the Golden State Warriors.
Thousands of miles away in his hometown, fans gathered to watch at Dango's Irish Sports Bar as Jimmer scored 21 points in his team's defeat.
"If they're on here, we're definitely here," said Glens Falls resident Valerie Hurley, who made a trip to Provo last season to watch Fredette play on BYU’s campus.
"It's nice to see a local boy do well from the town,” Glens Falls resident Janet Cicarelli said. “He comes back here a lot and that's really nice too, that he's still a part of the community."
Last year Fredette's college games were a must-see event at local sports bars, often drawing standing room only crowds. Many expect his NBA games this year to be an equally big hit.
"I expect this place to be jammin' pretty good,” said Justin Foster, an assistant manager at Dango’s. “I'm sure the game will be on every single TV. Absolutely, it will be exciting."
"Seeing someone from your hometown make it that far, it definitely gives you some inspiration that you can do anything," Harrington said.
The Kings will play one more pre-season game against the Warriors on Tuesday and then it’s on to the real thing. One day after Christmas Fredette is scheduled to make his NBA regular season debut at home in Sacramento against the LA Lakers.
The game is being broadcast on NBA TV, which can be seen on Time Warner Cable channel 677 or 1771 in high definition.