Fifth-Grade Florida Phenom Plays on Varsity High School Basketball Team

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterDecember 19, 2012

Photo Credit: MaxPreps
Photo Credit: MaxPreps

A fifth-grader in Florida is making national headlines for simply playing the sport he loves. Oh, it turns out he plays for the high school varsity team. 

It should all make sense why anyone hearing this story is taken aback, especially when you consider the young boy, Julian Newman, is just 4'5" in height. 

I am sure you have a ton of questions, so we'll jump right in.

Thanks to MaxPreps. who reported on the strange story, we find out that the school the boy plays for is Downey Christian (Orlando), "a tiny independent school that operates outside the realm of Florida's primary governing body for high school sports."

It seems such status allows for some stretching of the norms to allow a kid who isn't even in high school to play for the varsity team. 

The team is coached by, you guessed it, Julian's father, Jamie Newman. Here is a video of Julian showing off his marvelous handles. 

As for Dad, he thinks the world of his son's ability. 

He has a tremendous skill level. He has moves that even NBA players don't have. He does stuff that hasn't been done before with the ball.

He failed to specify which NBA players, because even I have moves the likes of Joel Pryzybilla has never seen. 

Now before you go questioning the legitimacy of this kid's talent, here is what Crooms Academy head coach Don Smith had to say—Crooms played Downey last week. 

Oh yeah, they announced his name and the whole deal. 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.

He is one of their better players. He's not playing just because he is Jamie's son.

MaxPreps has a video of Newman playing against high school opponents. You can also see some of his skill in a video below, taken when he was apparently in the 4th grade. 

His dad was obviously worried about the size issue. 

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. 

I encourage you to watch the MaxPreps video, because, no, nobody seems capable of staying in front of this little dynamo. 

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