GLENS FALLS - It was a triumphant homecoming for Glens Falls' very own sports superstar.
Jimmer Fredette waved to the sellout crowd of 6,300 at the Glens Falls Civic Center during pre-game introductions and again when he was taken out of play with two minutes to go.
Both times, the standing-room-only crowd answered with a standing ovation and a lengthy roar.
Glens Falls Mayor Jack Diamond predicted the roof would blow off the building with the crowd's reaction to Fredette.
Yes, the noise and excitement the crowd generated was indeed that powerful during the game billed as Jimmer's Hometown Classic.
The game had been created as a homecoming event for Fredette, the high-scoring senior on the undefeated Brigham Young University Cougars men's basketball team - ranked 18th in the nation - which made the cross-country trip to play the University of Vermont Catamounts Dec. 8.
During the long-awaited game, Fredette lived up to his legend. He sank his first three shots and scored BYU's first seven points, and continued his stellar play to tally a game-high 26 points.
"You do not know what to expect until it happens," said Fredette, who starred for Glens Falls High School before playing for BYU, smashing school records and being named a pre-season All-American. The 6'2" senior guard scored more than 2,400 points when he played for Glens Falls High.
"It was a great reception," continued Fredette. "It didn't hit me until I waved to the crowd and started to see all the familiar faces of people who I went to school with or played with around here. It was really nice."
Fredette perhaps received the biggest ovation when he connected on a fast break, behind-the-back pass with Kyle Collinsworth in the second half.
"I saw the play developing and I knew that Jackson [Emery] was on my right and the defense was pulling towards him. I had Kyle on my left and wanted to give the fans a little show. I was just hoping I made the pass because I know coach [Dave Rose] would not have been happy if I hadn't."
While the play on the hardwoods thrilled the crowd, the Hometown Classic electrified the city of Glens Falls. Newspapers devoted special sections to the event. Fredette's name was mentioned thousands of times in the news media in a matter of days. Even Celtics great Danny Ainge was in the crowd watching Fredette's slinky moves.
The city was packed on game day with revelers celebrating Fredette's return to his roots. The event prompted community pride to an extent unprecedented in recent history, area officials said. People of all ages and walks of life talked about the event for days beforehand and after.
Warren County Sheriff Bud York said the Hometown Classic was one of those once-in-a-lifetime celebrations for thousands attending and the many others who were there in spirit.
"I've never seen downtown Glens Falls so alive," he said.
(Thom Randall of the Adirondack Journal contributed to this article.)