Photo by Ron Nabity
Originally published on SacramentoPress.com Nov. 8, 2012
Second-year guard Jimmer Fredette is making the most of the limited playing time that remains ambiguous he’s getting due to a deep Sacramento Kings bench.
Fredette has seen his minutes cut down with the acquisition of point guard Aaron Brooks, who is now backing up Isaiah Thomas, a position Fredette assisted with last season. Fredette has appeared in three of the Kings five games, averaging just 8.3 minutes per game after averaging 18.6 minutes per game last season.
Head coach Keith Smart understands the challenge ahead of him in trying to keep the guys pleased with their playing time.
“It’s going to be a hard group to make sure everyone gets an equal time, and it’s not going to happen,” Smart said. “We’ve got too many good players that want to play. Some guys will play some nights, some guys don’t. The bottom line is we’re all in it together for one thing and that’s for our basketball team, the Sacramento Kings.”
Fan-favorite Fredette came in against Detroit to a loud ovation on Wednesday night and finished with 12 points in 15 minutes in the Kings 105-103 win over the Pistons. With the coach emphasizing being prepared at all times, Fredette has taken advantage of his appointed minutes by averaging 7.7 points in his 8.3 minutes per game this season thus far.
Fredette attributes his improved play and raised comfort level on the court this season to a productive offseason.
“I’m a lot more comfortable. I had a really good offseason: worked very hard, did some great things, just worked on my game and didn’t worry about anything else besides just trying to get better,” Fredette said. “I think I feel a lot more comfortable and it shows and I feel a lot better out there and I’m ready to continue to improve.”
The young guard didn’t enter the game Wednesday night until the second quarter and dropped five points on two jump shots in the first minute. Smart stuck with his second-year guard in crunch time in the fourth quarter as Fredette was able to take advantage of the minutes by hitting a big three-point field goal and two clutch free throws in the final 20 seconds to secure the Kings victory.
“You just have to be ready, you never know when you’re going to play and have that opportunity,” Fredette said. “But when you do have that opportunity you have to take advantage of it as much as you can. You can’t go out there and play lackadaisical and not be ready to play or else you’re not going to get back on the floor. You’ve got to be ready to play and earn your minutes, hopefully i’ve been doing that.”
Fredette has improved his shooting average this season as he is shooting 57 percent from the field this season as opposed to just 38.6 percent last season. While he has been more selective in his shot choices, he has also been able to knock down the open shot - an ability that the Kings could use as they’re shooting just 41 percent from the field.
Guard Tyreke Evans has been pleased with the energy that Fredette, in addition to Brooks, has provided the team.
“Jimmer and Aaron Brooks came in and did a great job off the bench and I think that’s what has been the spark for us so far,” Evans said.
Smart knows that energy guys with a strong work ethic like Fredette are what help build a team.
“The guy stays ready all the time,” Smart stated about Fredette. “He plays a game; he doesn’t play a game. I’m trying to find the right situation for him to get in the game. I thought he kept his mind right, he was at practice early working out prior to practice. He stayed with the right spirit on the floor and was able to make some big plays for us. That’s the kind of guys you got to have as your team is growing.”
Image courtesy of the C.O.S. Foundation
Originally published on SacramentoPress.com on Aug. 6, 2012
Former Sacramento King Donte Greene is set to hold the second annual Goon Squad Classic on Aug. 10 at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, Calif.
Although it appears that Greene will not be playing for the Kings again, Greene wanted to give the fans another chance to attend his charity basketball game, the Goon Squad Classic. The game started last season during the NBA’s holdout, prompting Greene to want to give basketball to the Sacramento region, and benefit numerous charities with the money raised.
“It was in high demand,” Greene said. “I got a great response from the fans, and they wanted me to do another game, and we planned it during the season to hold another one, thinking I will be back in Sacramento. But plans have changed, but I still wanted to hold the game for the fans.”
The game largely benefits Greene’s foundation, the Circle of Success foundation. Greene founded the Circle of Success in 2010 to give back to the community and help younger generations become successful.
“We have after school programs, we have mentor programs, I have a 14-under AAU team that I mentor. It’s to try and be a positive light on the community. I try to brighten people’s day and to hold good events,” says Greene.
The Goon Squad Classic benefits numerous other charities in addition to Greene’s, including Shriners Hospital for Children, Save Our Selves Breast Cancer Organization, Crocker Riverside 4th R after School Care, Jason Thompson Foundation and the American Diabetes Association.
Kings forward Jason Thompson played a part in putting together the game, just as he did last year. Thompson’s L.I.V.E. Like JT foundation is holding a back-to-school drive in an effort to obtain school supplies for those that need them.
Kings players expected to participate include Jimmer Fredette, Tyreke Evans, Jason Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas, Tyler Honeycutt and Darnell Jackson. Other NBA players participating in the event include Del Campo High School’s Matt Barnes, the Washington Wizards’ John Wall, Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford and others.
Tickets can be found at http://gsc2.eventbrite.com/. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the tip-off ocurrs at 6:30 p.m.
Those attending can expect more than just a basketball game, with plenty of side events for the fans.
“A lot of giveaways: autographs, tennis shoes, game basketballs, pictures and a lot of T-shirts,” Greene said. “There will be fan contests, free-throw contests. It is a good family environment and I want the kids to come out and have a good time and see some of the guys outside of the arenas.”
No matter how many fans show up, Greene promises to have a good time with those that do.
“I just want to have people come out and have a good time,” said Greene about the event. “Whether we have 50, or a couple thousand, we are going to go out and have a good time.”
Originally published on SacramentoPress.com on May 9, 2010
The Journeys Backyard BBQ Tour rolled into Roseville Saturday to amaze hundreds of action sports fans for its only California stop during the 2010 tour.
Fans from all over Northern California flooded the south parking lot of the Galleria Mall in Roseville for the opportunity to watch their favorite extreme sports athletes. The event brought Sacramento a rare opportunity to watch stars participate in freestyle motocross, skateboarding and BMX demos on a 60,000-square-foot playground of ramps.
The event featured stars Rob Dyrdek, Danny Way, Dave Mirra and riders from the Metal Mulisha freestyle motocross team.
While the athletes were not putting on a show, live bands entertained the crowd on a 36-foot stage that presented a “Battle of the Bands” contest. Along with the athletes and bands putting on a show for the fans, the event offered many tents set up by sponsors to offer free swag for the fans.
One fan, Beau Riddles, drove down to the event from Plumas Lake in order to watch the Metal Mulisha perform high-flying tricks.
“Came down here to see the Metal Mulisha,” the 21-year-old Riddles said. “They're crazy, dog. Anybody can jump on a bicycle. You fall down, its not that bad. If you're flying through the air 30 feet up [on a motorcycle], and you fall, you're gonna break something.”
Many others saw the event as an opportunity to bring their kids out and enjoy the warm spring weather while they watched the show.
“I just wanted to bring my son to see Rob Dyrdek and Dave Mirra,” said Brandon Glasgow, who brought his son Cordell from Lincoln to watch his favorite stars.
Cordell said he wanted to come to the event to see Rob Dyrdek mostly, since he himself skateboards about three hours a day.
With music blaring and action sports athletes performing ridiculous tricks, the event produced quite the atmosphere for both the fans and the athletes in attendance.
“The atmosphere is awesome," said professional BMX rider and DC team member Chris Doyle. "Everyone's been really friendly, and it's been pretty cool.”
For DC team member and amateur skater Wes Kremer, the atmosphere was like nothing he had ever experienced.
“You know, this is honestly what I'm not used to. This is probably the most hectic skate event I've participated in. I'm just used to free skating with the homies and having a mellow day,” Kremer said. “It's not my usual environment. At the same time, it's good for the people, and everyone's hyped as long as the people love it. If everyone's having fun, it's all good.”
As an amateur skater from Carmel Valley on the DC skate team, Kremer knows what it takes for someone to make it in the industry.
“Skate at your own pace. Have fun," he said. "Don't do what anyone else thinks, don't even care about anything else. Do what makes you happy and have fun doing it."
The Journeys Backyard BBQ Tour has four more stops scheduled, including Dallas, Cleveland and Boston before ending in Nashville.