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June 24, 2011
Jimmer stars as fans give new Kings a big Sacramento welcome

By Miles Bennett-Smith

Sacramento welcomed the newest additions to the Kings Friday evening at Sacramento International Airport, as all three of general manager Geoff Petrie's draft picks arrived together.

Former BYU guard Jimmer Fredette headlined the group and drew several hundred fans to the Terminal A baggage claim, amid heavy security.

Wearing a white T-shirt, he addressed a throng of media and seemed generally good-natured, despite the crush of police and photographers.

Asked about handling the spotlight, Fredette said he was still getting used to all of the attention.

UCLA's Tyler Honeycutt (taken with the 35th pick) and Washington's Isiah Thomas (60th pick) were also introduced to the fans at the airport.

A formal press conference will be held Saturday morning.

Honeycutt left school after his sophomore year for the UCLA Bruins, after a solid season in which he averaged 13 points and seven rebounds as a small forward. A good athlete with a high basketball IQ, Honeycutt should compete for a roster spot.

As a junior, Thomas was the star of Washington's run to the Pac-10 conference tournament championship. The point guard from Tacoma had little trouble scoring, averaging 17 points a game for the Huskies, and hitting a buzzer-beater to stun Arizona in the Pac-10 title game.

But Fredette was the crowd favorite, with many fans wearing BYU gear or his No. 32 jersey (he will wear No. 7 for the Kings).

Folsom's Matt Howlett carried a huge banner welcoming Fredette, and said he made the trip to the airport because he wanted to "help support Jimmer."

Ex-King and current Lakers forward Matt Barnes made a surprise appearance half an hour before the Kings players arrived, walking down the escalator to chants of "Beat L.A." The timing was purely coincidental, and the local product from Del Campo High School signed a few autographs before quickly ducking out.

Call The Bee's Miles Bennett-Smith, (916) 321-1087

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