According to Eisenberg, the player’s father, Al Fredette, has made comments that “starstruck students were approaching his son during lectures for autographs and photographs.” When asked what Jimmer does to avoid commotion when out on campus, the elder Fredette describes Jimmer’s response, “He said he wears a hoodie and tries not to make eye contact.”
The solution? Fredette, at the request of the school, is taking only online classes this term to avoid the chaos. So what does this say about the rising star? Well, NBA players have always had to deal with stereotypes of inflated egos, and it seems the NBA prospect has carved out this image for himself even before the pen hits the paper.
Should he really be shunning some of his biggest fans? There’s a lesson to be learned here: it’s never to early to think twice about how you’re branding yourself. Granted, Fredette is at the mercy of BYU, it’s hard enough to be liked with stereotypes and generalizations in the mix, so removing yourself from the situation can sometimes be a counteractive rather than proactive.
From the perspective of a college student surrounded by athletics, part of the charm of going to a school with a booming athletic department is being so close to the fame. Star athletes roaming the campus in the midst of campus tours may be distracting, but hey, I bet consciously or unconsciously their presence will affect those visitors’ college decisions. I’ve run into countless athletes in classes and at social events (…parties, who am I kidding) and never once have they refused questions, pictures, autographs, or any other sort of unconditional attention…more likely they’ve encouraged the gawking. So lets think BYU, take away your star and you’re taking away part of the draw. And Jimmer, perhaps you should rethink your brand; these starstruck fans will be buying your bobble-head one day…if you’re lucky.