Jaden Newman may only be 9 years old, but she’s already received attention from Division I schools. The Orlando native is considered a basketball prodigy, and was recently sent a recruitment letter from an assistant coach at the University of Miami’s, making her the youngest person to ever be recruited by a college program.
Here’s what you need to know about the fourth-grade sports star:
1. She Visited the Miami Campus After Receiving a Recruitment Letter
Derek Gibbins, an assistant coach for the Miami women’s basketball team, gave Jaden’s parents a call in early June after watching an online video of the youngin playing ball. While many parents would turn their heads and claim it’s too early to start their children on a collegiate track, Jaden’s parents seemed pretty happy with the attention. Who can blame them? Since Jaden’s father, Jamie, coaches his daughter’s team, it wasn’t too hard for Gibbs to get in touch with Jaden and offer her a tour of the campus.
Jaden and her dad toured the school on June 10 on an unofficial recruiting trip. While she enjoyed the visit, she says her biggest dream is to play for the University of Connecticut– the top women’s basketball program in the country.
2. She Once Scored 63 Points Against a Boys Team
— New Day (@NewDay) June 18, 2014
Instead of playing video games and cruising through Facebook, the 9-year-old is almost always playing hoops. This shouldn’t be that shocking, though, as her parents were big basketball fans growing up. Multiple sources have boasted that Jaden is a mix of Allen Iverson and Muggsy Bogues, and it’s easy to see why.
When interviewed on the Crowd Goes Wild, Jaden says the most points she’s ever scored in one game was 63. She also mentioned she’s not scared playing against girls that are much bigger than her.
Jamie Newman tells ABC news that he’s not surprised his daughter was contacted by Miami. He says she’s incredibly talented and her potential is out of this world.
I think it’s just not a hobby– it’s a passion and a love she has for the game.
3. She’s the Starting Point Guard On Her High School’s Varsity Team
USA Today reports that Jaden first received national attention when news that she was playing for her high school varsity basketball team went public. The fourth grader, who stands 4-foot-7, received even more attention from the press when it was publicized that she’s the starting point guard for the Downey Christian School team. She averages 14.8 points and 7.5 assists per game.
GOOD LORD…UM recruits 9-year-old girls hoops phenom Jaden Newman…her highlights are impressive. http://t.co/3L9PpZqZiJ
— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) June 18, 2014
4. Her Brother Received Attention From the Press in 2013 For His Basketball Skills
Jaden’s brother, Julian, is also considered a basketball prodigy and was interviewed by Conan O’Brien on March 1 of last year. At the time, Julian was 11-years-old, the star point guard on his high school varsity team, and ranked number one in assists in the state of Florida. Like his sister, Julian played for Downey Christian and started shooting hoops at age three.
Julian told Conan O’Brien that the guys he played against were between 5-9 and 6-4, though Julian was only 4-5. He also said he’s not a huge LeBron fan, but is a big supporter of Kobe Bryant. The show rewarded him by sending him off to a Lakers game the night of his interview.