Jimmer Fredette, Dave Rose and Provo Mayor John Curtis joined together to encourage kids to commit to renounce bullying as part of the Jimmerosity Jam 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament at the Provo Recreation Center this week.
As part of the event, they spoke to a group of nearly 200 kids about how to prevent bullying by showing respect for others and including them in activities.
“It’s all about just including everyone in things that you do and showing them respect,” Fredette said. “Once you do that, then they’re all comfortable with each other, and then they’re not going to point one kid out, single them out and start bullying them.”
Rose focused on the importance of treating others with kindness and having personal character.
“In order to make our team good, we need really good people,” Rose said. “I want you to be the ones who will be kind, helpful people.”
Fredette detailed the work the Jimmerosity Foundation will be doing in Utah, explaining that it will be working with the Y-Serve organization at BYU to bring awareness and anti-bullying education to more than 13,000 students in Utah this next school year.
“It’s about teaching these kids that it’s important to have these standards,” Fredette said.
While addressing the kids, Fredette showed them a large poster covered in signatures, including his own, and explained they belonged to other people at the event who had committed to put an end to bullying.
He reminded them of the contract his brother had him sign as a teenager, promising he would someday play in the NBA, and invited the kids to come up afterward and sign the poster as a promise that they would join with him to prevent bullying.
Tyler Christensen, a 9-year-old boy from Springville, Utah, accepted the challenge and signed the contract.
“It’s not nice if you bully somebody. You make people not feel good about themselves,” Christensen said. “I signed so people would stop bullying and the world would be a better place.”
After discussing his efforts to stop bullying, Fredette fielded questions from his young fans who were curious about his personal experience with bullying.
“I always was a kid who was a little bit bigger and I had a little bit high voice, so I got made fun of,” Fredette said. “I just made sure I didn’t pay attention to the negative stuff.”
Others were interested in his life in the NBA and his plans for the future.
When one worried boy asked if rumors about Fredette playing in Europe next season were true, Fredette’s response gave the crowd something to cheer about.
“There have been rumors about that, but I’m not going to; I’m going to play in the NBA next year, and I’m excited,” Fredette said.
Once Fredette finished answering questions, Curtis stood at the microphone and declared July 9, 2014 to be Jimmerosity Day in Provo.
“I encourage everybody in Provo and Utah County to show Jimmerosity by giving back to the community, just like Jimmer, and to help strengthen the family and develop strong moral character,” Curtis said.
Kids came up afterward to get autographs from Fredette, take pictures with him and sign the anti-bullying contract.
The foundation also sold Fredette memorabilia and signed merchandise — including the shoes Fredette wore to the event — to raise money for the foundation’s efforts to stop bullying in Utah.