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July 14, 2011

Jimmer Fredette


THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome for the first time to the American Century Championship, Mr. Jimmer Fredette.

Q. How does this compare to the ESPYs?
JIMMER FREDETTE: They're both nerve-racking but this will be a different type of nerves. I've never played golf in front of people before. And I haven't played golf all that much, just in general.
So it will be fun. There's tons of unbelievable athletes in their sports that are here, either that have played or are playing now, and it's going to be a great experience just to be able to meet these people and to be in their presence, it's something that's a real honor for me, and it's a humbling experience to be here.

Q. Who are you really excited to meet? I mean, there's so many pro sports athletes, you talked about how cool it was to meet Dirk Nowitzki last night on the red carpet. I'm sure you met a bunch of other guys, too. Who is here that you hope you can bump into?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I'd love to meet Michael Jordan. Never met him before. Obviously the greatest player of all time. I would like to meet John Elway, that would be a fun guy to meet. And also Ray Romano. I really like Ray Romano and watch "Everybody Loves Raymond" all the time. So I'd really like to meet him. Seems like a really cool guy.

Q. Who is your pick to win it?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I don't even know. Not me, let's put it that way. (Laughter).

Q. Can you just tell us, since the day of the Draft, what your schedule has been like?
JIMMER FREDETTE: Right after the Draft I went out to Sacramento and did a nice little press conference and met the fans and all these different things. It was great.
I was there for about a little over a day. And just did a bunch of stuff. And then I went home and I was able to kind of relax a little bit, just continued to work out and just saw the family and friends and hung out. Did a bunch of stuff like that.
But then I got invited to the ESPYs. So I had to come out to the ESPYs. And then I'm doing this here. And I have a couple of things after this that I'll be doing.
But it's been pretty good. It's busy. And it's been hectic, it's a whirlwind, but it's a lot of fun, and I'm very fortunate to be in this position, so...

Q. You said you have not played golf much. Can you estimate how many times you've played in your life?
JIMMER FREDETTE: Yeah, I've probably played 10 to 15 times in my whole life. So not -- don't expect much, that's what I'm trying to tell you.

Q. What was the last time you played?
JIMMER FREDETTE: Last I played, like three or four times these last couple of weeks, tried to get my game as good as I can, I guess for going into this thing.
But, like I said, I'll hit some decent shots. I just can't drive it straight. That's my only problem. I gotta get that down. Once I get that down, I think I'll be all right.

Q. Have you played with any of these guys before?
JIMMER FREDETTE: No, I've never played with any celebrities before or any of these guys. I've just played with my friends back in Glens Falls and sometimes out in Utah, but other than that, I haven't played too much.
We always had a team outing for our basketball team before the season started, and you play a scramble. And my team won it three out of the four years, so I'd like to take credit for that, but it really wasn't me, I was just on a good team.
But I've played and I've never played with any of these guys though.

Q. Who here would you most want to play a round with?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I think Ray Romano would be a fun guy to play with just because I think he would be funny. I'd love to play with Charles Barkley. I think that would be a fun experience. Funny guy. And obviously Michael Jordan would be really cool. It doesn't matter. There's so many unbelievable athletes here from their sports that I'm just looking forward to playing with whoever.

Q. Do you think you could beat Barkley?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I hope so, but I don't know. We'll see.

Q. Have you met Charles?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I've met Charles, yep.

Q. You're teeing off tomorrow at 11:45 with Tim Tebow and Herm Edwards. Welcome aboard. That's the official pairing for tomorrow. Speaking of fun, I know that we've talked about this on a conference call or two, but you are listed as a 50-to-1 favorite here by the Harrah's/Harveys sports book. And that's not bad, considering with the basketball guys, because you've got Jordan and Ray Allen at 40-to-1.
JIMMER FREDETTE: I saw that, I was like, oh, wow. I never -- I guess they just have never seen me play golf before so they've just kind of estimated or whatever, I don't know what the deal is. But I probably should be more towards Barkley than those guys.

Q. As far as your golf so far, have you been able to hit some balls yet on this trip? It's been a whirlwind tour.
JIMMER FREDETTE: Like the last couple of weeks I've been able to play three or four times back in my hometown and get some golf in. But I didn't play at the ESPYs or anything when I was out in LA. So I think -- I mean, I don't think I could get much better in two weeks, you know what I mean? So I tried to do the best I could. And some people gave me a little bit of lessons in trying to get the slice out of my shot and everything.
But we'll see. Hopefully, like I said -- my irons are okay. I think I'm okay once I get to my irons and to the green, but my driver is where I have to get improved.

Q. What was the deal with the Brian Wilson outfit last night, by the way? You guys still all right?
JIMMER FREDETTE: That was crazy. Brian, he loves to be funny. He's a funny guy. And pretty creative. And I think everybody had a good laugh off of it. And he was enjoying himself.

Q. As far as the Sacramento Kings, what's your goal for your rookie season?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I want to come in make an impact with this team right away, be able to come in and hopefully help them win more games, and get on that right track, hopefully get close to the playoffs or make the playoffs, that's what we want to do. And just improve from the last season.
Hopefully I can come in, however many minutes it is I play, whether I start or not, doesn't really matter, I just want to come in and make an impact and gain the trust of everybody and play well.

Q. You've taken a lot of criticisms for your defense. Talk about what you've done in the off season, I guess, and how your body's changed. You go from college to professional basketball, and obviously it gets stronger, gets stronger, get faster, get faster. Through your workouts here in the last few months have you noticed some changes with your body and is that helping with your defense?
JIMMER FREDETTE: Yeah, definitely. Just continue to work as hard as you can in the off season, work on the speed and quickness. The strength, some of the strength just comes with getting older and your body filling out the way you want it to. I'm going to continue to work hard.
I'm a hard worker. I'm going to go out and play "D" and show everybody that I can do it. So I'm looking forward for that opportunity.

Q. We're here at the 22nd American Century Championship. Do you see yourself being at the 44th?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I hope so. Yeah, I'd hope so. I hope I can come back and be able to play and have a good time and hopefully I'll get better so I can be closer to the top. But I'm really looking forward to it.

Q. How much sleep did you have last night? Because you look like you're pretty tired right now.
JIMMER FREDETTE: I didn't have too much sleep. Got about four hours, I'd say. It's been kind of -- the trip that we had out here we were real tired, too, we had to wake up real early. And it's been crazy and had to wake up real early and come to here. But it's a really exciting experience for me. I can't wait to get out there and just play and interact with all the people and the players. And it's going to be a really fun experience.

Q. Is your schedule right now more hectic than it was when you were in Provo? Because you were really in demand in Utah as well.
JIMMER FREDETTE: Yeah, it's more hectic as far as the travel. The traveling is what, I think, makes you more tired than necessarily just going from place to place. So it's a little more hectic just with the traveling schedule, getting on a plane and having to go across the country into different places. So that's the worst part.

Q. Are you going to get to play or practice today before you tee off tomorrow?
JIMMER FREDETTE: Yeah, I am going to play a round at like 1:30, so I'm doing that.

Q. Have you ever teed off in front of a crowd before? I know you played all buddy golf.
JIMMER FREDETTE: No, I've never played in front of a crowd before. That's what I was saying. It will be a different experience for me. So we'll how it goes.

Q. Talking about coming back for more of these in the future, would you ever consider getting some formal instruction for your golf game then?
JIMMER FREDETTE: Definitely. I think I'll continue to get more instruction and play more as I have more free time and everything during the season and off season. So I'm definitely going to continue to try to get better and play more. But I just haven't had the opportunity yet to.

Q. Hank Haney is in here in about half an hour, we'll drop your name.

Q. They mention that you're with Herm Edwards and Tim Tebow tomorrow. And Tebow was at the ESPYs last night. And I don't know whether last night or any other time before have you had a chance to meet and get to know him a little bit or will tomorrow be the first time you guys hook up?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I've actually talked to him last night a little bit and I've talked to him on the phone a couple times before that for some different things.
But I've met him. He seems like a great guy. Very hard worker. Obviously a great college player, and hopefully it will translate and he'll be a great NFL player. I think he can be.
So he's a great guy, and I'm looking forward to being able to play with him and get to know him a little bit better.

Q. Do you see similarities between you two, even though it's a different sport, the success you both had in college?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I think similar, just the fact that we had really successful college careers but a lot of people didn't think we'd do well in the pros.
And I think that we both are also very hard workers, guys that have proven people wrong time and time again and continue to work hard and just push through it and not really listen to it and just go out and play as hard as we possibly can. And whatever happens, happens. But I think we have some similarities that way.

Q. Michael Jordan at his Hall of Fame induction talked a lot about when people doubted him, that was inspiration for him to do well. We're hearing a little bit about that about you as well. Is that something that you're using, that you're trying to turn around to say: Hey, I'm going to use that to show people?
JIMMER FREDETTE: Yeah, I use it as motivation, just internally. I don't show it. I never hold grudges against people. Everybody should have their own opinion, and that's completely fine. So I don't get mad at them or anything, I just use it to try to use it internally to go out and play as hard as I possibly can and show them that I can do it, be a good basketball player, whatever it is that they want me to show.
So it's more about just myself trying to prove myself that I can do it.

Q. I wanted to get your thoughts on the NBA lockout right now. A lot of athletes are saying they might head overseas and play. Have you had that in your mind?
JIMMER FREDETTE: Not really. I'll be playing in the NBA whenever it is. I'm just going to continue to work as hard as I can and work on the things that I need to work on to get better at to improve, to be a great NBA player.
So I'll just focus on those things and that's about it right now.

Q. Have you had a chat with any of the other NBAers out here?
JIMMER FREDETTE: At the ESPYs I was able to talk with a lot of NBA basketball players. But I haven't -- I just barely got here today, like an hour ago. So I haven't been able to see anybody yet. So hopefully I will, though.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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