Posted December 19, 2012

Florida fifth-grader starts for high school basketball team

Uncategorized

A Florida fifth-grader, standing all of 4 feet 5 inches tall, is making waves in Florida basketball communities and not for his height. It’s because he is starting for a local high school team.

Julian Newman, who already has his sights on playing for Kentucky, plays for Downey Christian in Orlando and is getting rave reviews because of his ball-handing skills. And from reports from fellow coaches and players, his talent is not a joke as evidence of Julian scoring 91 points against middle school kids, according to his father.

“Oh yeah, they announced his name and the whole deal,” said Crooms Academy head coach Don Smith, an opponent of Downey Christian’s last week. “Downey Christian is a real small private school and they put a little bit of anybody out there. He’s a little bitty thing, but he’s very talented.”

Downey Christian doesn’t compete for state championships because they operate outside of the Florida High School Athletic Association, which is the state’s governing body.

“He has a tremendous skill level,” Jamie Newman, Julian’s father and coach at Downey Christian. “He has moves that even NBA players don’t have. He does stuff that hasn’t been done before with the ball. I was a little concerned that the physical aspect would be a factor, but the thing is, people can’t stay in front of him.”

Image for MaxPreps Video.


12 comments
Air Mokeski
Air Mokeski

Whose boneheaded idea was it to say, "Hey, here's a great story?" Oh, because someone pressed 'record' and made a video? Sports Illustrated and similar outlets are the first to pooh-pooh too much travel ball and such, and first to also come up with crap like this to provide outlets for parents who have a kid that may (and 99.9 percent more likely) may not be skilled enough to even get any kind of college scholarship. How about this: Stop covering high school and middle school 'stories' like this, and maybe you won't have to write and we won't have read stories about washouts? (By the way, I've coached fifth graders much better than this that never even played high school ball. Sorry, kid, but I hope you are having fun. That's what it's supposed to be about at this age).

SukeMadiq
SukeMadiq

I have a feeling things will turn out badly for this kid, probably will get a huge ego, no education and is an injury away from having no future.   

Somebody is going to set a Barley like pick on him soon.

Yeah I Said It So What?
Yeah I Said It So What?

Moves that NBA players don't have?  Man, please...

 

Here we go again...Another Todd Marinovich and Michelle Wie clone. 

 

Dad, you're an interstellar-grade imbecile.  Period.

jweller3
jweller3

Why........she only has 4 years of eligibility and will be done with high school b-ball before entering high school.  Just AAU ball to play until college.

pawtwice
pawtwice

Granted every dad thinks his son or daughter is a super star.  However for his dad to say a fifth grader has skills NBA players don't have and does things with a ball no one has done before is just a little much.

brad006
brad006

Why didn't anyone shoot over him or block his shots?  He dribbles well, but...bogus.

dash2k8
dash2k8

I'm sorry, but the video showed a bunch of poor defenders with no basketball skill or IQ playing with the little guy. He has dribbling skills, I'll give him that. But the taller guys could have just stood under the basket and they couldn't even do that, so it shows terribly inferior skill. We'll see if he pans out in the future. For now... no big deal.

dash2k8
dash2k8

He has moves that NBA players don't? Get a grip on reality, dad.

James C
James C

 @jweller3 That is not true. We have the same discussion in Michigan about student athletes from small schools that participate for HS teams because of school size. The MHSAA's rules, as well as the rules for EVERY other high school athletic association are CLEAR. A student athlete has 4 years of eligibility from the time they enter 9th grade. This is not the NCAA with 4 years of total eligibility. 

 

One other thing to note. If you read the article, it clearly states the school is not part of the FHSAA. The FHSAA is the organization which sets the eligibility rules. Since they don't compete under FHSAA rules, the schools own rules determine who can and can't play for a HS team, including what grade level they can start playing for a HS team. 

James C
James C

 @pawtwice He may be able to do things an NBA player simply can't do, but it's not due to skill level. He is not as skilled as the NBA players. His size, and ability to use his small size, may allow him to make moves NBA players are too big to make. He will grow out of that however. 

MikeD
MikeD

I don't kow about MHSAA rules, but in Oregon, once you participate in a high school contest your "clock" starts and you have 4 years of participation left.  Those 4 years do not have to be used consecutively though.  Having said that, as you noted the school is not a member of the FHSAA.  So any FHSAA rules would not apply.