Following a sensational season, former college star Jimmer Fredette has decided to sign back up to be the best basketball player in China, agreeing to a $1.8 million deal with the Shanghai Sharks.
Last season, Fredette took home the CBA’s International MVP, putting up 37.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists a game while shooting 47.7% from the floor and 40.4% from 3-point range. He also managed to drop 73 points in a single game.
His individual excellence also translated into team success as Fredette led the Shanghai Sharks to the playoffs with a 30-8 record, turning around a franchise that was mired in years of mediocrity. However, the Sharks were quickly knocked out in the first round of the playoffs by the underdog Shenzhen Leopards.
I've decided to go back to Shanghai for a two year contract. Thanks to my family, friends, and fans who have with me throughout everything! pic.twitter.com/FRlJCDcBHf
— Jimmer Fredette (@jimmerfredette) July 24, 2017
Fredette, the unanimous 2011 National Player of the Year in college basketball, disappointed in the NBA. After being drafted 10th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft, he played for four different teams over five years, averaging just 6 points in 13 minutes per game as his legendary shooting was compromised by his lack of athleticism.
Following his magical season in Shanghai, Fredette expressed interest in returning to the NBA, but seems to have ultimately decided to take the Stephon Marbury route and try to become a superstar in China rather than a role player in the US.
In the Middle Kingdom, Jimmer has managed to recapture that BYU magic, earning him legions of Chinese fans who call him “Jimo” (寂寞) meaning “lonely.” Which is less depressing than it sounds, as his translator told him, his full title is “loneliness god” (寂寞大神), because he stands at such a high level, he has no rivals.
However, only time will tell if he is able to achieve Marbury’s level of immortality in China who has a movie coming out in theaters across the country next month and has signed up to play his final season for the Beijing Fly Dragons.
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