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News » Big game gets big cheers for Big Fes


Big game gets big cheers for Big Fes


Big game gets big cheers for Big Fes Throughout Friday night's 111-98 win over the Clippers, four young men sitting eight rows behind the Jazz bench went wild for big No. 44. They cheered Kyrylo Fesenko on during one of his best nights as an NBA player, made synchronized arm motions while pointing his way, and chanted "Fes-en-ko!" and "Fes! Fes! Fes!" Fesenko, starting for just the second time in place of the injured Mehmet Okur, even acknowledged them with a peace sign during a timeout.

Perhaps shocked, Jazz teammates also heard them loud and clear. Then the third-year big man heard it from them. He said players mockingly asked him things like: "Is that your family? That's your assistants doing that? Like how much are you paying them?" Fesenko swears he didn't pay them. He didn't know them, either, and laughed when it was suggested that perhaps they served LDS missions in Ukraine. "I just have a great personality, probably," he said. "That's why." Perhaps the loudest, they weren't the only ones cheering for Fesenko during a game in which he gave a nice inside offensive presence and provided some solid interior defense after he decided to not fall for Chris Kaman's head fakes. Jazz coach Jerry Sloan told him, "Good job young fella" after the game ? a compliment that meant even more to Fesenko than his fan club. "Trust me, that's the highest thing I get from him," he said. "That's enough for me to make my day." Sloan told reporters that Fesenko was "terrific" and was pleased the big center's commitment to working hard in practice is paying off. Sloan credited Fesenko for helping limit L.A.'s offense to 38 second-half points. He also liked what he saw on the offensive end, where the 22-year-old was aggressive in hitting 5 of 6 shots. "He's 7-feet tall and 300 pounds and ... tonight he tried to take the ball to the basket," Sloan said. "He didn't try to finesse anybody. He's just got to rare up and try to go through people, and I think that's where he can help us as we move forward." Okur also complimented his temporary replacement in the starting lineup, lauding Fesenko for playing "a lot better" after two rocky years. "He play with a lot of confidence right now," Okur said. "He came in with a great shape. He's been really nice during the practice and during the games." The good-natured Fesenko was surprised to hear this was only the second double-digit scoring performance in a young career that includes just 32 NBA appearances. "Really? Just second?" he asked. "Keep looking. It's going to keep getting better and better." Good news for his club. INJURY UPDATE: Okur made it through a full practice Saturday after missing Friday's game. It helped to get a couple days of treatment and a break for his moderately sprained left ankle and left knee that were injured Wednesday at Denver. "We just wanted to let my ankle and knee rest a little bit," Okur said. "I kind of banged out last game, but I feel great right now." Kyle Korver also put on workout garb and, after being teased by teammates for attempting an early comeback, shot free throws. His doctor needn't worry. The shooting guard, who underwent surgery Wednesday to get a bone spur removed from his now heavily wrapped left knee, didn't practice. NO WORRIES: Neither Carlos Boozer nor his coach are too concerned that he's started the season off on ice cubes instead of on fire. Boozer is averaging 16 points but has only hit a third of his shots (12-for-36). "I have a tendency to get really excited for the first couple of games of the season," Boozer said. "I've got to calm myself down and just let the game come to me and play." Sloan agreed with that assessment, saying he believes Boozer is putting extra pressure on himself as he tries to find a rhythm. "He'll be fine," Sloan said. "I don't have a problem with him. I don't worry about him." Sloan has seen mini-slumps like this happen to good players ? even good veteran players ? too many times to push the panic button. "I've seen those things happen," Sloan said, "and they work themselves out of it. If you're going to come and work at it, guys figure it out." Sloan said Boozer is doing just that. The power forward even showed up to the practice facility Thursday when the team had the day off. SINGING CHOIR'S PRAISES: Ronnie Brewer got his first earful of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, when the 360-strong group sang the national anthem Friday. They made quite the impression on the Arkansas product. He asked Paul Millsap, "What's going on? And we see all of these people coming on (court), I was like, 'Golly!' But it was good. It was really nice, though, it was." Brewer admitted he hadn't really heard much about the MoTab choir before. "No, not really ...," he laughed. "Don't they have a holiday CD?" e-mail: jody@desnews.com


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 2, 2009

 

 
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