Jaden Newman is pretty awesome. The nine-year-old a point guard at Downey Christian School in Orlando, FL, became the youngest person ever recruited by a college program when the University of Miami sent her father Jamie a letter officially expressing their interest.
The Hurricane’s assistant coach Derrick Gibbs, who helps coordinate recruiting efforts for the prestigious Division 1 sports program, spotted one of Jaden’s videos online and invited the young girl to make a visit to the Coral Gables campus.
“They showed me around. They showed me their basketball court and they showed me like all the campus, it was nice,” Jade told Miami television WPLG.
That 30-second YouTube highlight video already has more than 1 million views and snagged Jaden a guest appearance on Good Morning America (see clip below)
The 4-foot-7 phenom who is in fourth grade, currently plays on her high school’s varsity team, and averages 14.8 points and 7.5 assists per game. As evidenced by her game reel, she is almost untouchable on the court.
Jaden says she plays so well because she’s been going at it for a long time, and she also gets a lot of sleep! Her only hindrance may be height. She told Good Morning America:
“I’ve played basketball since I was 3, and I play with older people. If you play at your age, you’re not going to get better, but if you play higher, you have more competition.”
She also told GMA she’s a normal fourth grader who is not going to let all the Hoopla go to her head.
Jaden grew up in a family of basketball all-stars. Her older brother, Julian, is currently in 6th grade, but ranked among the top 100 high school players in the nation. Her father says she’s been playing alongside older boys since she was 3 years old. That helped her develop into one of the strongest ball handlers on her high school team, even at her young age.
Her father and mother also hit the courts while growing up. They met as point guards in high school, who played at opposing schools and were arch rivals. (Love & Basketball anyone?)
For now, Jaden will keep scoring high points for her school and watching her favorite Disney Channel and Nickelodeon shows in her spare time. She’s seven years from getting her driver’s license and still has a 10 o’clock bedtime.
But she’s happy to know she already has an option for college. The University of Miami is not her first choice though– that would be the University of Connecticut where her favorite WNBA player, Diana Taurasi, played for the national champion Huskies.
“After I finish high school, I want to go to college and play for U-Conn then go to the WNBA,” Jaden comments. “Then, I want to be the first girl to be in the NBA.”
Get this girl’s autograph now!