SteelyKid is off spending the weekend with her grandparents, so Kate and I went out to a nice restaurant last night (we love SteelyKid dearly, but miss eating in restaurants without a kids menu). I was kicking myself for forgetting to set the DVR to record a basketball game, though. Not the Duke or Kentucky games on ESPN, but the much more Mid-Majority friendly BYU-Vermont game up the road, on the local cable system.
Why? Because the game was being played in Glens Falls as a tribute to Jimmer Fredette, BYU's star point guard, and a local legend. Fredette started to get national attention last year when he scored 40+ against Arizona and TCU, and then when he led BYU to a first-round victory in the NCAA tourament in a double-overtime win against Florida. He tested the waters for the NBA draft, but decided to come back for his senior year, and is a pre-season All-American.
I'm a small-town guy myself, and while Glens Falls is quite a bit bigger than Whitney Point, it's still pretty small and I'm a sucker for this kind of local-boy-makes good story. And while I was in the car en route to dinner, I listened to the local sports talk station interviewing Fredette's father and older brother, and they were so nice and wholesome that it was almost comical. It's really easy to like everybody associated with this-- the Fredettes, BYU for scheduling a game in tiny Glens Falls (even with a standing-room-only crowd, the civic center only holds 6000-ish people), Vermont for being good sports and agreeing to play a "home" game two hours away in the opposing star's home town. And it all worked out more or less perfectly-- BYU won in a blowout, Fredette scored 26 in front of everybody he knows, and the whole capital region was abuzz about it.
It wasn't much of a game from a basketball perspective, but it would've been good to see. The clips on the local news last night looked pretty cool. And given all the bad/annoying/depressing stories dominating the rest of the news these days, it's nice to see something genuinely heartwarming. Congratulations to the Fredettes, and good luck to BYU for the rest of the season.
As a BYU alum and basketball fan, I listened to about half of the game online last night. Jimmer seems like a genuinely nice guy and I'll be rooting for him for the rest of his career.
Yay BYU basketball!