PROVO — Former BYU superstar Jimmer Fredette's first professional game will take place at a very familiar venue — the Marriott Center.
Jimmer's All-Stars exhibition contest tips off Thursday night (7 p.m., MT, BYUtv), featuring top college players from last season, including several, like Fredette, who were first-round picks in last June's National Basketball Association draft.
Fredette, the No. 10 pick overall by the Sacramento Kings, will be joined by former Cougar teammate, Jackson Emery, and his former coach, Dave Rose.
Fredette is serving as captain of one team, which will be coached by Rose. The other squad will be led by former San Diego State star Kawhi Leonard — a first-round pick who has been acquired by the San Antonio Spurs — and coached by SDSU coach Steve Fisher.
The players on both teams that are involved in this exhibition game were selected through a draft format, chosen by Fredette and Leonard.
Among those on Fredette's team include Emery, who has decided not to pursue a professional basketball career.
"I'm excited about my team and I know Kawhi feels like he has a great squad as well," Fredette said. "Personally, I'm really looking forward to playing one final game with Jackson in front of our home fans. We had so many great memories during our career at BYU, and it will be fun to enjoy one last game night experience at the Marriott Center."
The others on Fredette's roster are Kenneth Faried (first-round pick of the Denver Nuggets from Morehead State), Nolan Smith (first-round pick of the Portland Trail Blazers from Duke), Chris Singleton (first-round pick of the Washington Wizards from Florida State), Tyler Honeycutt (second-round pick of the Kings from UCLA), Charles Jenkins (undrafted out of Dayton), and Chris Wright (second-round pick of the Golden State Warriors from Hofstra).
Leonard's team consists of Kemba Walker (first-round pick of the Charlotte Bobcats from UConn), Bismack Biyombo (first-round pick of the Charlotte Bobcats from the Democratic Republic of Congo), Tobias Harris (first-round pick of the Milwaukee Bucks from Tennessee), Malcolm Lee (second-round pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves from UCLA), Vernon Macklin (second-round pick of the Detroit Pistons from Florida), Isaiah Thomas (second-round pick of the Kings from Washington) and Jake Kelly (undrafted from Indiana State).
This exhibition game is being staged because of the ongoing NBA lockout. Due to the lockout, unsigned rookies have not been able to sign contracts.
A portion of the proceeds from this exhibition game will be given to the Vestibular Disorders Association to fund a nationwide awareness campaign.
"I am really excited about our final group of players as we have some great names who really had talented careers in college and are now looking forward to taking their game to the pro level," Fredette said. "Each player is extremely competitive and has their own unique style that the fans in Provo will love to see play. It also means a lot to me that we are able to support the Vestibular Disorders Association which is a cause that is near and dear to my family."
Mascots to take on Lehi in football
LEHI — Utah Jazz Bear will once again headline the Eighth Annual Mascot Bowl.
Monday's event is designed to raise money for Bear Hugs for Kids and the Firemen and Friends for Kids charities which combine to provide a Christmas shopping spree for local children in need.
The All-Star Mascot team will consist of celebrity quarterbacks Aaron Boone and Doug Osmond along with celebrity coaches, Jeff Hornacek, Frank Layden and Chris Wingert. The mascots will take on the Lehi eighth grade football team.
The mascot team features Bear of the Utah Jazz, Grizbee of the Utah Grizzlies, Swoop from the University of Utah, BYU's Cosmo; Rocky from the Rocky Mountain Raceway, Weber State University's Waldo, Leonardo from Real Salt Lake, Torch from the Utah Blaze and the Salt Lake Bees' Bumble.
Festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. with an autograph session with mascots and celebrities and end with fireworks. Tickets cost $3.