Those who didn't know who Seventh Woods was before Friday saw him leap into their consciousness with one of the more spectacular dunks of the year. The 15-year-old sophomore from Hammond High School in South Carolina threw down this ridiculous jam during the Chick-fil-A Classic on Friday.
In case you're wondering, Woods is just 6'1". Those are some major ups on that kid. The dunk earned him the top spot on ESPN's nightly Twitter poll. He beat out LeBron James of the Miami Heat, who obliterated Sacramento Kings rookie Ben McLemore with this slam.
Both are impressive, but I'll give the nod to Woods as well. It isn't as if LeBron needs any more of these awards. He's made more screensavers out of the opposition more times than I can count.
Woods was already on the radar of every scout and observer of elite high school hoops talent. He is ranked 14th nationally by Rivals per Yahoo! Sports. CBS Sports' Matt Norlander did a brief story that asks, is Woods the next basketball prodigy?
He's certainly done enough to at least heighten the awareness of his presence and development. There's still a ways to go before he steps onto a college basketball program's court—let alone the floor of an NBA organization.
He has a point guard's height, but he obviously seems to have a scorer's mentality. Sometimes it is hard to know whether a kid can adapt and change his game accordingly. Several collegiate programs will be falling all over themselves to give him a shot. If he grows two inches or more over the next two years and continues to develop, he'll skyrocket up most talent evaluators' boards.
University of North Carolina head coach Roy Williams has already given Woods a scholarship offer for 2016, per Rivals.com. Hopefully, Woods is prepared for the haters and skeptics who think it's cool to pour cold water on every hot prep prospect who is hyped as the next big thing.
Sometimes in our effort to be the "I'm not buying it" guy or girl, we forget these are just kids that have a special talent. It's us members of the media that adorn them with accolades. The naysayers' criticism doesn't affect the writers and YouTubers, though. The swipes are almost always directed at the kids.
Kansas' Andrew Wiggins is living this existence right now.
Based on some of the criticism, you'd think Wiggins wasn't averaging 16 points and six rebounds per game as a true freshman for a major program. If Woods' fame and hype continue to build, he'll face the same type of haters.
He must be prepared to handle what's ahead of him. Hopefully he'll rise above the hate the same way he ascended over that poor defender before the monster slam on Friday.
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