April 12, 2011
Whereas other NBA prospects often drop out of school during spring semester in order to focus all their attention on preparing for the upcoming draft, Jimmer Fredette has stopped attending classes for a different reason.
BYU actually requested it.
College basketball's consensus national player of the year is doing all his schoolwork online this semester because his presence had become a distraction in class. Al Fredette told the Glens Falls Post-Star that starstruck students were approaching his son during lectures for autographs and photographs.
"It was getting too disruptive," Al Fredette said. "He can't go anywhere in Provo without being recognized."
That Jimmermania has disrupted Fredette's daily life should come as no surprise to those who followed his meteoric rise from all-conference guard to college basketball's breakout star. Each long-distance 3-pointer or 40-point scoring barrage increased the spotlight on the unassuming senior guard to the point that in the past three weeks alone he graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," and shot down lingering rumors that he's getting engaged.
It's probably more convenient for Fredette to take classes online since he hasn't spent much time at BYU in recent weeks. In the wake of BYU's NCAA tournament run ending at the hands of second-seeded Florida in the Sweet 16 last month, Fredette has traveled to Houston and Los Angeles to collect national player of the year awards.
One of the best measures of Fredette's newfound fame came at the terminal at Los Angeles International Airport as the BYU star was flying back to Salt Lake City on Saturday after collecting the Wooden Award. According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, dozens of fans — kids and adults alike — mobbed Fredette in hopes of getting a picture or an autograph.
That level of fame has forced Fredette to take precautions to avoid being recognized in Provo.
"I asked him what he does on campus when he goes out," Al told the Post-Star. "He said he wears a hoodie and tries not to make eye contact."
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