He gives his ID badge to a smiling employee in a red polo at the front desk. And then he walks to the far corner of the facility, fishes a basketball from his backpack and bounces it onto the wooden floor. Overhead lights buzz like cicadas on a summer night. A massive metallic air duct clings to the ceiling. The cream paint is peeling off the walls, and so too are the protective plastic mats behind the baskets. The rims are fading from orange to brown.
High school basketball sensation, Julian Newman , has reportedly made a decision to skip college basketball and instead take the professional route. Julian was asked about a potential overseas team up with long time friend and 4 star recruit Kyree Walker. Walker has confirmed offers from Arkansas, Arizona, Arizona State, and Kansas, but still has not made an official decision on whether or not he will attend college.
His jersey straps are twisted and bound with plastic ties to prevent them from slipping down his bony 4-foot-5, pound frame. Tricolor socks with pastel waves cover his size 4 feet, conveying the notion that he might be a stylish student manager. The grand marshal of the player parade, Julian, an year-old fifth grader, guides his team into warm-ups, bouncing two balls at once. He glides into a pregame routine that shuffles through jab steps, hesitation moves and effortless dribbles — between his pipestem legs, behind his back, rapid crossovers. The scene is incongruous enough to seem computer-animated. Not long ago, Newman was a mere curio in the compact circle of sports programs at small Christian schools in Central Florida. But his age, his size and the wild contrast of his stature on the court with relative giants have brought global attention through Internet videos.
Newman came to attention in for his viral highlight videos on YouTube , while playing varsity basketball for Downey Christian School in fifth grade. He sparked polarized opinions, with some outlets touting him as a child prodigy and others criticizing the way he was marketed. At age three, Newman began showing interest in basketball and his father Jamie soon had him play with regulation-size balls and in recreational leagues with older boys. His father trained him rigorously from a young age, with Newman reportedly making free throws , floaters, and jump shots each day at practice. In the fall of , after initially attending public schools , Newman transferred to Downey Christian School, a small private school in Orlando, Florida , after his father began coaching basketball and teaching history at the school. But after seeing immediate success, scoring as many as 91 points in a game, he was promoted to the varsity team. In sixth grade, Newman averaged 17 points per game.