Meet Whitney Fredette.
You might know her as “Jimmer’s wife,” or you may even be lucky enough to know her through her online fashion blog.
What you may not know is what life is like being married to a professional basketball player.
Whitney was born and raised in Littleton, Colorado. Little did she know that a decision to move to Utah and become a cheerleader for Brigham Young University would result in her marrying the star athlete and talk of the town. That decision would also result in her being married to an NBA regular.
With Jimmer now in his fourth season in the NBA, in many ways it’s Whitney that has adapted now that she is an NBA wife.
“His schedule is crazy,” she said. “They play 82 total games a year and half are home, half are away. They vary from 2- to 10-day trips. I typically don't go … unless it is Colorado to see my family or Utah to see everyone else.”
Whitney, you see, does not like airplanes or airports so she tries to stay at home as much as possible. She tends to only travel when Jimmer flies to play the Utah Jazz or Denver Nuggets.
Though she isn’t at every game, she still watches every game on TV.
“Its actually not that crazy to see him on TV,” she said. “I have been watching him on TV now for six years, so it’s kind of old news. I will never get over how tall they are though.”
Many may wonder what life would be like to be the spouse or companion of someone famous. But Whitney contends she didn’t make any changes to her everyday life or routine.
She said, “I didn't change at all. I still spend most of my time in my running clothes with no makeup on. The only opinion I really care about is Jimmer's, so I'm not too concerned if I see people out and about and I don't have makeup on.”
However, Whitney says she has become much more independent.
“I knew he would travel a lot and I knew I would spend a lot of time alone, but it’s actually much easier than I expected. I have become super independent.”
Whitney said dad did everything for her growing up, including paying her bills, changing the oil in her car, and fixing her appliances in her apartments. Whatever it was, he was there for her. Luckily for her, he taught her all she knows because she now helps perform similar responsibilities in her marriage.
“Now that we’re married, I pay all of our bills. I am a lot more on top of things than Jimmer is (except basketball, of course),” she said. “I am constantly reminding him to take his car in to get serviced, go to the dentist and everything else like that. I think it has been so beneficial for both of us.”
The NBA generally only provides 24-hour notice any time a player is required to move, so the vast majority of the moving responsibilities have fallen on Whitney.
“My mom will fly out and help me pack everything up, and then fly and help me unpack,” she said. “Honestly, she's the best. She’s my rock.”
The Fredettes chose not to live in New Orleans, where Jimmer currently plays for the Pelicans. Whitney said the couple moved around every six months or so between Jimmer’s stints with the Sacramento Kings and Chicago Bulls. They currently own a home in Colorado.
Whitney said the NBA does a good job taking care of the wives. “The NBA is always so gracious to us and makes sure we have everything we ever need as wives,” she said. “They take care of us like we are one of the players.”
WHILE AT BYU
It didn’t take long for Whitney and Jimmer to meet due to their mutual participation in various BYU sports. According to Whitney, she met Jimmer during her freshman year at college.
While Whitney was from Colorado, Jimmer grew up farther away in a small suburb of Upstate New York called Glens Falls.
“We started hanging out toward the end of my freshman year and then we both went home for the summer,” she said. “Luckily, we stayed in touch during that summer. Once we came back to school in the fall, we made it official and started dating up until we got married in 2012.”
Because he led the NCAA division in scoring and, in addition to receiving other collegiate awards, he was named the National Player of the Year, he had limited to no time to dedicate to his social life.
“It was difficult to spend a lot of time together because of his popularity,” she said. “If he wasn't at basketball or school, he was doing an interview or participating in some kind of media opportunity. If he was available, I was cheering at a football game or in school, so our schedules were sometimes tough.”
Whitney has never felt like she has lived in his shadow. To her, she has never lost her identity, public recognition or self worth. In fact, Whitney loved the fame and notoriety Jimmer received in Provo and continues to receive while playing for the NBA.
“It was cool to be able to witness him have so much success at such a young age because he deserves everything he has worked for,” she said. “It was something else to be dating him during those years at BYU.”
She loved home games because she was able to cheer for him and had the honor of driving her car down to the basement of the Marriott Center after each game to pick him up.
“We would have thousands of people waiting for us as we would drive out of the Marriott Center. They would bang on my car windows and try to grab on,” she said.
Jimmer became so popular to BYU students and other Provo fans that they couldn’t even go out to eat in public without people bombarding him.
“We couldn't really go out to eat, so we ate in a ton and got a lot of take out,” Fredette said.
They knew their time in Provo would soon come to an end because there was no doubt in their minds that Jimmer would go on to play in the NBA. Although they had no idea where the immediate future would take them, they did know there were 30 available options, each of which housed a different NBA team, and they would soon be assigned to one.
“I was anxious to know where we would end up basketball-wise,” she said.
They have had a unique jumpstart into marriage, but she optimistically stated it has overall been enjoyable, easy and stress-free.
“A lot of people tell you that marriage is a drastic change, but we had a really easy transition. Besides being required to move twice a year, life isn't that much different,” she said. “I still watch a lot of basketball.”
Jimmer travels a lot with the NBA, so she has decided to find a few jobs to keep her busy.
“We don't live in New Orleans full time. We move every six months so it was hard to find a job. I work at an equestrian center and help train horses,” she said. “It’s extremely flexible and allows me do something I love everyday. I also just recently started a blog, so when I'm not at the barn, I'm working on my blog.”
They also have a dog, George, who helps keeps Whitney busy.
“I work out everyday. I usually just take my dog for a run,” she said. “I also spend a lot of time at the dog park. I'm pretty sure I'm at the grocery store everyday, too.”
While many people look forward to vacations, the Fredettes are different. Whitney Fredette loves being home.
“I love going on vacations, but I much prefer being at home with Jimmer,” she said.
She misses all of her Utah friends immensely, but has become good friends with the spouses of other NBA players. They go out to eat with other athletes and their spouses regularly.
“We all sit by each other at games, so we just naturally talk and become really good friends,” she said. “I made some amazing friends in Sacramento, and I have some awesome ones here in New Orleans as well.”
Although she has made great friends, she still communicates with her family daily.
“I talk to my mom each day on the phone. My whole family is also in a big group text, so we all chat a couple times a week.”
As for what the future may hold for Whitney, she has already received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from BYU and would love to work in television someday.
“My dream job is what Kelly Ripa does, but I don't live in New York City, so that will have to wait,” she said. “We will definitely have kids. I just want to wait until we are more settled in the NBA.”
Although according to Whitney, Utah has the best restaurants and some of the best ice cream, she does not plan on living in Utah again. They currently own a house in Colorado where they live for six months every year during the off-season.
“Utah is awesome,” she said. “All of my best friends live in Utah, so I miss living there and seeing them everyday. We definitely love Utah, but I think we will stay in Colorado since my family is there and Jimmer has fallen in love with it. We visit Utah a ton, so we get to see our friends and family whenever we visit.”
Whitney said still continues to enjoy watching Jimmer succeed.
“When you really love someone, his or her success is your success,” she said. “He includes me in everything and supports me in everything I want to pursue as well.”