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Hometown Classic is more than just another Jimmer game for Fredette family

2010-12-05T01:18:00Z 2011-08-26T10:59:16Z Hometown Classic is more than just another Jimmer game for Fredette familyBy Alicia Johnson -- Glens Falls Post-Star

GLENS FALLS -- Twenty voice messages greeted Al and Kay Fredette when they arrived at their Glens Falls home late Thursday night.

Another message - a banner posted on the telephone pole in the neighborhood - spelled out exactly what all the voices were calling about.

The Hometown Classic is almost here.

For the Fredettes, that's meant juggling interviews and wrangling up enough tickets for the more than 40 family members coming to Wednesday's game between Jimmer Fredette's Brigham Young University team and the University of Vermont at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

There will be aunts and uncles driving up from New Paltz, Albany and Connecticut. Uncles are flying in from Utah and cousins are traveling from Cortland State and Oneonta State just to see their Jimmer.

"They're really excited about it," said Jimmer's older brother, T.J. "It couldn't have worked out better for them. To be able to come and see him in Glens Falls and have a family reunion. ... It's going to be a great occasion."

The Fredettes have traveled everywhere from to Las Vegas to Philadelphia to watch Jimmer play in some of the biggest games of his career.

No one ever thought Glens Falls would be a destination for BYU. That was until Glens Falls Mayor Jack Diamond's letter found its way to BYU in February simply asking to play the role of host.

The request came to life in May when BYU and the University of Vermont officially agreed to square off.

That's when the phone calls began at the Fredette home. In September, when tickets went on sale, Al camped out all night outside the Civic Center to take care of family and friends.

This is what the game has come to mean to the Fredettes.

It won't be strangers filling the Civic Center, it will be former coaches, teammates and friends. It will be family members who've had to settle for TV highlights to see Jimmer in a BYU jersey.

"I always tell Jimmer to enjoy all of this because we know how fleeting these times are," Jimmer's mom, Kay, said in an e-mail. "I try to take my own advice because it will go by in a flash like these four years have. I almost hate to see it come because I know it will happen and then be gone."

Glens Falls residents, both past and present, will fill the downtown streets heading to the all-too-familiar brick building.

They made the same trek four years ago, when the ground was covered in snow and a state title was on the line. That day Jimmer and the Glens Falls Indians came up short against two-time defending champion Peekskill.

Distracted by the task of trying to win a state title that day, Glens Falls head basketball coach Tony Hammel and assistant coach Dave Casey eagerly await a chance to be just fans.

"It will be great to watch him again, especially on that court," said Casey, who will be watching Jimmer play live for the first time as a college player. "Memories of sitting on that court and having people cheering like they did."

There were 5,782 in attendance that day and Hammel still remembers how it felt that Sunday afternoon.

"It was a sea of red," he said. "When you got 5,000 people and 4,900 are Glens Falls people rooting you on. The chills roll down your spine and you've got goose bumps all over. That was the best."

BYU is expected to arrive at the Albany International Airport late Monday night. The team will be staying at the Queensbury Hotel for three nights.

Jimmer is expected to give a speech at Glens Falls High School auditorium at 1 p.m. on Tuesday. The University of Vermont is scheduled to arrive by bus from Burlington on Tuesday afternoon. Both teams will hold closed practices on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Civic Center.

Aside from Jimmer's speech at Glens Falls, there are no plans for public appearances by either team.

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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