Sacramento Kings guard and Glens Falls native Jimmer Fredette, center, demonstrates his dribbling skills to a group of young players on the opening day of his “Jimmer Jam” camp Thursday at the Saratoga Springs Recreation Center. Three hundred kids are attending the three-day camp.
Saratoga One year ago, Jimmer Fredette was walking on stage at Madison Square Garden as the No. 10 pick in the NBA Draft.
Thursday, the Glens Falls native and Sacramento Kings guard was standing in the Saratoga Springs Recreation Center talking to the next generation of basketball players.
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Fredette was front and center at his first "Jimmer Jam" camp in the Capital District. And as the group of 8- to 12-year-old kids stared at him in rapt attention, he talked about the importance of being a good player, a hard worker and a good person.
"I just try to teach them good (work) habits because that's the most important thing to have," said Fredette. "No matter what, you have to have good habits to fall back on."
One of those players was 8-year-old Jaden Giammattei -- son of Scotia-Glenville varsity boys basketball coach James Giammattei, who coached against Fredette when he was playing for Glens Falls five years ago.
"It was the first time meeting an NBA player, and it was exciting to see him in real life," said Jaden.
"What Jimmer is doing right now (at this camp) and what he's made his legacy is he's getting the kids excited to play basketball," said James. "Just the excitement he creates for this camp ... it will drive a kid to work on his game."
Three hundred players from as far away as Connecticut and New Jersey traveled to Saratoga Springs for the beginning of the three-day "Jimmer Jam." At each session, a group of area players and coaches joined Fredette to teach the campers techniques to improve their shooting, passing and dribbling.
One of the area players Fredette called upon was former Gloversville standout and current Albany Legend guard E.J. Gallup.
"Anything that has to do with Jimmer and the Fredettes I'm happy to be part of," said Gallup, who used to play against Fredette's older brother T.J. in high school. "I think it's great for these young kids to have a chance to see Jimmer."