If you are aware of NCAA sports you probably have some knowledge of Jimmer Fredette. If you are aware of NBA basketball you probably have an opinion of him. Outside of the game you may know that he is an active LDS member who went to college at Brigham Young University. For some reason people are going nuts about this young man, and have been for a few seasons. The theory is that at some stage, because of his background, he'll one day end up playing for the Utah Jazz. Which is silly. It's as silly as the theory that we'd one day bring in a 7'6 poster prop to play for our team. The Jazz, in my mind, don't play favorites. People thought that we'd go crazy for Utah PG A. Miller too back in the day. I think this regionalism is silly. We're a pro team that looks for the best talent. We're not into cheap tricks to bring people into the door.
We don't theorize that the Lakers are going to go out there to get UCLA / USC / UC Irvine players, right? They had Kareem Abdul-Jabbar once, and how many other guys since? No one is saying O.J. Mayo or Arron Afflalo are going there, or to the Clippers.
But anyway, let's actually look at all the players from BYU, Utah and the state in general, and who has played for our team.
|BYU Players||Utah Players|
|Player||NBA Games||Jazz Player||Player||NBA Games||Jazz Player|
|1||Danny Ainge||1042||No||1||Andre Miller||1126||No|
|2||Shawn Bradley||832||No||2||Tom Chambers||1107||Yes|
|3||Jim Eakins||767||No||3||Mike Newlins||837||No|
|4||Mel Hutchins||437||No||4||Michael Doleac||587||No|
|5||Fred Roberts||818||Yes||5||Keith Van Horn||575||No|
|6||Greg Kite||680||No||6||Danny Vranes||510||No|
|7||Jeffrey Congdon||306||Utah Stars||7||Andrew Bogut||440||No|
|8||Craig Raymond||241||No||8||Jerry Chambers||320||No|
|9||Bernie Fryer||120||New Orleans||9||Bill McGill||295||No|
|10||Steven Kramer||124||No||10||Jeff Judkins||272||Yes|
|11||John Fairchild||165||No||11||Mervin Jackson||262||Utah Stars|
|12||Jimmer Fredette||130||No||12||Pace Mannion||216||Yes|
|13||Rafael Araujo||139||Yes||13||Mike Sojourner||191||No|
|14||Michael Smith||141||No||14||Arnie Ferrin||178||No|
|15||Paul Ruffner||133||No||15||Hanno Mottola||155||No|
|16||Devin Durrant||63||No||16||Vern Gardner||151||No|
|17||Brady Walker||228||No||17||Ticky Burden||134||No|
|18||Andy Toolson||60||Yes||18||Kelvin Upshaw||120||No|
|19||Travis Hansen||41||No||19||Dewitt Menyard||71||No|
|20||Dick Nemelka||39||No||20||Josh Grant||53||No|
|24||24||Kenneth Gardner||9||Utah Stars|
|Utah Jazz||3||Utah Jazz||3|
|Utah Stars||1||Utah Stars||2|
|New Orleans||1||New Orleans||0|
|Total Players||20||Total Players||27|
|Utah Jazz %||15.0%||Utah Jazz %||11.1%|
|Full %||25.0%||Full %||18.5%|
Yup. I guess I was wrong, or something. A quarter of all BYU players have ties to either the Utah Jazz, the New Orleans Jazz, or the Utah Stars. Less than 1/5th of the Utah Utes players do though. As for the actual Jazz, though, only 3 guys from both colleges have played for the Jazz. Is it likely that this trend is going to continue?
I don't know, but I think it's based upon talent as a basketball player, and not anything else. That said, after watching Brandon Davies bomb us from outside in the Clippers game . . . we do need a stretch four who is cheap.
But what about players who are BORN in Utah? This is a very interesting list.
|Born in Utah|
|Player||NBA Games||Jazz Player|
|Utah Jazz %||26.3%|
We seem some repeats here before, but over 25% of people born in Utah end up playing for the Jazz. Interesting stuff for sure.
So if you are a hopeful NBA player in highschool right now who wants to play for the Jazz, you should be born in Utah and play for BYU. The odds are that one of you or your brothers will make it.
Or maybe any sample sizes that are under 50 are meaningless. Almost as meaningless as trying to put players on pro teams near their colleges -- after all that worked out great for the Charlotte Bobcats and Sean May and Raymond Felton, right?
What does it mean for all of those who have strong opinions about Jimmer joining the Jazz? Well, I honestly don't see it happening in the short term. Maybe if Jimmer transitions himself to being a Randy Foye type then he'll get a chance here when he's vet enough, and if Tyrone Corbin is still our head coach. But I wouldn't hold my breath if I was you.
Also, I know there are more than two universities in the Bee Hive State. I'm sorry if I didn't hit your alma mater. If you want, I can look them up if you hit me up in the comments section.