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On This Day: Kevin Durant Called BYU Star Jimmer Fredette ‘Best Scorer In The World’

Kevin Durant when he was with the Oklahoma City Thunder and former BYU star Jimmer Fredette against San Diego State. (Photos courtesy of Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – It’s been 10 years, to the day, since BYU basketball legend Jimmer Fredette led the Cougars to a 71-58 victory against Kawhi Leonard’s undefeated San Diego State Aztecs.

Jimmermania was already a thing among BYU fans, but the craze caught fire nationally after Jimmer dropped 43 points on Kawhi’s Aztecs.

Everyone on those early days of social media seemed to be weighing in on the performance from the Jimmer. From Woj to Nelly to even NBA superstar Kevin Durant.

10 Years Ago: Kevin Durant to Jimmer Fredette

Durant, 10 years ago after BYU defeated San Diego State, wrote, “Jimmer Fredette is the best scorer in the world!!”

High praise from a player who has become the NBA scoring champion four times in his storied career. Durant was only in his fourth year of the NBA while with the Oklahoma City Thunder when he gave props to Fredette.

The win for BYU launched Fredette into superstardom. ESPN couldn’t get enough of Fredette. Everywhere you looked on SportsCenter, PTI, Around the Horn, they were all talking about BYU’s scoring phenom.

Fredette’s stardom didn’t carry over into the NBA. You could point to a lot of reasons as to why it didn’t work out for the BYU legend, but it doesn’t diminish what Fredette accomplished at the collegiate level. He was a superstar, and he conjured up comparisons to some of the greatest scorers in college basketball history.

Jimmer went on to lead BYU to their first Sweet 16 appearance in 30 years that season. He became the second player in program history to win the Wooden Award, given to college basketball’s most outstanding player in a given season.

Up until BYU’s win at Gonzaga in 2020, many would tell you Jimmer’s 43-point performance against San Diego State was the greatest win in the history of the Marriott Center. It’s a memorable game, and it was only magnified when superstars such as Kevin Durant praised The Jimmer.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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