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PROVO - Jimmer Fredette is the best player at BYU since Danny Ainge, but it was Jimmer's brother T.J. that shaped him into an All-American.
Growing up in Glens Fall, New York, T.J. realized from an early age that there was something special about Jimmer. As soon as Jimmer could, T.J. encouraged him to dribble a ball.
"We were always hanging out together," T.J. said. "I kind of think that being an older brother, you're automatically a mentor."
T.J. said that ever since they brought Jimmer home from the hospital, it was as if athletics united the two.
"I liked having him around," said T.J. "He was like one of my best friends. I loved just being with him and seeing him grow."
Because T.J. was seven years older that Jimmer, Jimmer was forced to play at a higher level in basketball in order to compete.
"A lot of times I had to shoot from the outside," Jimmer said. "I learned my outside shot at a young age. When I started getting a little older, I was able to take it to the basket, but they were still a lot bigger than I was. I had to be creative with my shots."
Jimmer credits his "awkward" layup shots to playing with his brother and the other "big guys." His creative shots allowed him the opportunity to work around the taller players in the post.
The two brothers continue to remain a positive influence on each other's lives, with T.J. pursuing a career in music and Jimmer working his way to a spot on an NBA team.
"We're not going to give up," Jimmer said. "We're guys that are competitive and we want to go and reach our goals and we're not going to stop until we do that."
"This thing has been great, but we're not done yet," T.J. said.