Jimmer Fredette eyes NBA return, will play in The Basketball Tournament

Friday , June 01, 2018 - 9:37 PM

Former BYU basketball great Jimmer Fredette will suit up for his own team in The Basketball Tournament and hopes for a return to the NBA, he told ESPN in a report published Friday.

Fredette coached Team Fredette in 2017’s The Basketball Tournament (TBT), a 64-team tournament comprised of teams with players who are overseas professionals, former NBA and college players, or NBA players not currently under contract. The tournament is entering its fifth year and the prize stash for the winning team is $2 million.

This year, he’ll suit up in his team’s blue and white.

TBT 2017Wasatch Front falls in 1st round; Team Utah beats Team Fredette

Fredette told ESPN his time in China has made him a better player and TBT will help him prove it. The 2018 version of TBT will feature more than 50 players with NBA experience and, according to ESPN, a handful of players who competed in the NBA during the 2017-18 season.

Longtime NBA veteran Matt Barnes, for example, recently committed to play with UCLA alumni squad Sons of Westwood.

In 2017, Team Fredette, featuring Jimmer’s BYU teammates Brandon Davies and Charles Abouo, lost to Utah alums Team Utah 100-97. Team Utah also returns in 2018, featuring former Utes Shaun Green, Tim Drisdom and Dakarai Tucker.

Fredette was the No. 10 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft after earning national player of the year honors as a senior at BYU. He told ESPN he’ll honor the final year of his contract in the Chinese Basketball Association — where he’s a headlining star for the Shanghai Sharks — before fully pursuing an NBA return.

UTAH VALOR

Wasatch Front — a Weber State alumni team that featured Davion Berry, Scott Bamforth and Kellen McCoy in 2017 — is not returning to TBT this year, but there is another team with Northern Utah ties on track to make the field.

The Utah Valor, organized and coached by Ogden native and Weber State alumnus Bryan Tracy, was the second-leading vote-getter in the West region when voting finished Friday, which should lock the team into the field.

The team’s roster lists 10 players with various levels of college experience. The only Valor player with any apparent Utah ties is Marquis Marshall, son of former Utah Jazz player Donyell Marshall.

Utah Valor "is a blue-collar team, a bunch of hard-working guys from all walks of life who love basketball,” Tracy said via email.


Contact Brett Hein at bhein@standard.net, follow him on Twitter @bhein3 and at facebook.com/brettheinwrites.

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