Jimmer’s All-Stars come to Provo

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BYU fans will have another chance to see former Cougars Jimmer Fredette and Jackson Emery play together again on the same floor.

“Jimmer’s All-Stars,”  comprised mostly of NBA first- and second-round draft picks, will take the court Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center.

BYU head coach Dave Rose will coach the team of Fredette and Emery. They will be joined by a group of former NCAA All-Americans, including former Duke guard Nolan Smith, former Morehead State center Kenneth Faried and Fredette’s future Sacramento Kings teammate Tyler Honeycutt.

They will take on a team coached by San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher, featuring former San Diego State star Kawhi Leonard. Fisher’s team will also have former UConn guard Kemba Walker, former Florida forward Vernon Macklin and another future teammate of Fredette’s, Isaiah Thomas.

“To have the opportunity to play in front of fans that have supported me over the years and on BYU’s home court is going to be great,” Fredette said.

With the NBA lockout becoming more of an imminent threat to the season starting on time, Fredette and his agent, Chris Emens, came up with the idea months ago to host the game.

“After witnessing ‘Jimmermania’ firsthand and the ardent support of BYU basketball fans, we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if Jimmer could play one more game at BYU?'” Emens said. “Since we knew that the NBA lockout was a likelihood, we felt that there was a window of opportunity that wouldn’t normally exist to put on the first ever All-Star game featuring NBA players at the Marriott Center.”

After the idea was formalized, Fredette and Emens began making invitations to other post-collegiate stars. The response Emens received was almost more than he could handle.

“The games were almost universally embraced by players and agents,” Emens said. “In fact we had to turn away a number of draftees that requested to participate in the game.”

Other NBA stars have taken a similar approach to Fredette’s during the early stages of the lockout. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul took part in a highly publicized game in Baltimore a few weeks ago.

Emens sees this becoming a trend as many of these basketball stars simply want to play basketball.

“There is no question that we want to keep basketball and the NBA on center stage in a positive light and in a fan friendly forum,” he said. “I imagine that most people are tired of hearing and reading about the lockout, so this is something that everyone can support and get behind.”

Emens and Fredette both hope the Marriott Center will be packed, much like the BYU home games were last season.

“I’ve seen BYU basketball fans up close on many occasions and they rank up there with any college hoops fans in the country,” Emens said. “I would love to  see the students come out and support the event as they do for BYU basketball.”

“Jimmer’s All-Stars” promises to put on a highly competitive game featuring many former and future rivalries.

“Although it is an exhibition game, there are potentially some fierce and friendly rivalries,” Emens said. “Jimmer and Jackson versus Kawhi; Jimmer versus Kemba; Jimmer and Jackson versus Macklin; Jimmer versus future Kings teammate Isaiah Thomas, not to mention coach Rose versus coach Fisher.”

Fredette said he hopes his fans will enjoy this kind of competition being brought here to Provo.

“It’s going to be a very intense game, one that everyone will want to come out and see,” Fredette said. “The crowd at the Marriott Center has been great and I’m excited to bring this game to them.”

Tickets are $15 for BYU students and can be purchased at the Marriott Center Ticket Office, at BYUtickets.com or by phone at  801-422-BYU1. The game will also be broadcast on BYUtv and on radio at KSL Newsradio (102.7 FM /1160AM).

A portion of the game’s proceeds will go toward the Vestibular Disorders Association to fund a raise awareness campaign for 2012.

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