Fredrick hopes to build on past success at Rupp


Brian Ray

Iowa guard CJ Fredrick (5) is pictured against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

By Keith Taylor, Kentucky Today

LEXINGTON (KT) — C.J. Fredrick has produced some memorable moments at Rupp Arena. The Iowa transfer hopes to add to his list of accomplishments with the Wildcats in the future.

Fredrick, who led Covington Catholic to the state championship in 2018 said his past Rupp Arena experiences were “super special” and can’t wait to play on the floor again next season.

I’m excited to do the same thing with this team, just come in and help this team do whatever it needs to do to win and create more memories at Rupp Arena,” he said Tuesday.

Despite his status as a former in-state prep standout, Fredrick said he doesn’t feel any pressure about playing in his home state for the flagship university.

I just see it as a great opportunity for me to just come in and get better and help this team win,” he said. “I love to win. So, I just see it as an opportunity. It’s going to be great for my family to be able to be closer to the games. My grandma can come to the games, my mom, dad, aunts, uncles, all of my family kind of in the area. So, I just see it as a great opportunity for me.”

Fredrick spent three seasons with the Hawkeyes and made 83 3-pointers during his career and averaged 8.8 points per game. Fredrick entered the NCAA transfer portal a month ago and was considered a target for Kentucky, since he played his prep career at Covington Catholic.

Fredrick enjoyed his time with the Hawkeyes, but “just kind of wanted something new” and decided to explore his options following the season.

I loved my time at Iowa,” he said. “I had three great years there. I love the people there. They were great to me. They made me feel at home when I first stepped on campus. So, I’m forever grateful for the opportunity they’ve given me and how great the fans and the people were to me … They’re going to hold a special place in my heart for that. But like I said, I just wanted something new. I felt like it was best for me and my career to make this move and just develop more as a player, a teammate, a person.”

Growing up in the state, Fredrick considered Kentucky his dream school, but wasn’t sure if the opportunity to play for the Wildcats would be an option after settling on his college choice following a stellar career at Covington Catholic.

“I never thought it would happen,” he said. “ I’m just super excited that it did happen. But I knew that I was going to go to a team that needed me, and Coach Cal was actually one of the first people to call me when I entered the portal. The minute I talked to him I could feel the genuine need for me to come in and help lead the team and help make shots and help spread the floor. That was something that I really liked and enjoyed talking with him about.”

During the recruiting process, Fredrick said the Wildcats didn’t recruit him in high school, but added that he was “locked in on Iowa” during the Colonels’ successful state tournament run three years ago.

“I was honored by that commitment and that opportunity, so I never really thought of a different opportunity,” he said.

Now that he has three years of college experience, Fredrick said he’s prepared to suit up for the Wildcats.

“My game has just evolved in so many ways,” he said. “I’m just more mature on the court. In high school I kind of just went out and played, and now being in college I’ve kind of been able to read the game more. There’s so much about the game that you just kind of have to sit back and learn more about. I feel just in control on the court.”