Athletes Who Look Like They Are 12 Years Old

Laura Depta@lauradeptaFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2014

Athletes Who Look Like They Are 12 Years Old

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    While the athletes in this slideshow are all professionals and masters of their craft, it’s hard to take anyone seriously when he appears to be 12 years old. OK, maybe that's an exaggeration. Some of these athletes look 13 or 16—it’s open to interpretation. Either way, they all look younger than they actually are.

    Basically, what we’re talking about here is the anti-Greg Oden.

    Manny Machado looks young because he is young. Tayshaun Prince looks young because he is apparently under some type of anti-aging spell that will keep him looking young well into old age.

    The older an athlete really is, the higher he is on this list.

    Some athletes try to hide their youthful glow with facial hair (I see you Patrick Kane), but I will not be fooled. I can spot a baby face like Johnny Manziel spots a publicity opportunity.   

    Honorable mentions go to Jonathan Toews, Rory McIlroy, Ricky Rubio, Sam Bradford and Sidney Crosby—because five years ago the latter would’ve topped this list and also because he grows a beard like a 12-year-old.

Sage Karam

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Actual age: 19

    Sage Karam was born in 1995 and just placed ninth in the Indianapolis 500. How old/unaccomplished do you feel?

    Also, Karam may still be in high school, but so is this guy.

Lucas Digne

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    Sergei Grits/Associated Press

    Actual age: 20

    Lucas Digne, the promising young Paris Saint-German defender, doesn’t look old enough to drive, let alone to play in a World Cup. Digne was part of the FIFA U-20 World Cup French championship team in 2013 and was named to the French national squad’s 23-man roster for the big boy tournament in Brazil.

Manny Machado

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Actual age: 21

    Manny Machado is one of baseball’s hottest young up-and-comers. The Baltimore Orioles third baseman already has an All-Star appearance and a Gold Glove under his belt after less than three years in the big leagues.

    But his baby face and youthful smile aren’t exactly menacing over at the hot corner.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Actual age: 21

    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins looks like a walking growth spurt well on his way to earning an A in seventh-grade algebra.

    The Edmonton Oilers center was the first overall draft pick in 2011, but the team certainly didn’t draft him for his ability to grow a playoff beard. 

Michael Carter Williams

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Actual age: 22

    Maybe his Philadelphia 76ers draft hat was just too big, or maybe his head is just small.

    Or maybe Michael Carter Williams is the only 12-year-old alive with a goatee.

    Either way, the Philadelphia point guard has the jovial smile of a bright-eyed youngster playing pickup games after school.

Mike Glennon

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Actual age: 24

    Mike Glennon may be tall, but that’s pretty much the only thing this Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback has going for him. He’s fresh-faced, skinny and inexperienced to boot.

    After Glennon's rough rookie campaign last year, new Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith named veteran Josh McCown as the 2014 starter, according to

Gordon Hayward

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    Rocky Widner/Getty Images

    Actual age: 24

    Utah Jazz shooting guard/small forward Gordon Hayward made a name for himself as part of the 2010 Cinderella Butler team that came within a Hayward buzzer-beater of winning a national championship.

    He played just two years in college and was named the 2009-10 Horizon League Player of the Year before being drafted ninth overall by the Jazz in 2010. Sort of a big deal.

    He still looks way young.

Rickie Fowler

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    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Actual age: 25

    Despite his status as one of golf’s rising stars, Rickie Fowler looks like he just escaped the Mickey Mouse Club. He doesn’t help his cause with his wardrobe selections, but to each his own.

    Fowler is currently ranked 37th on the Official World Golf Ranking and No. 1 on the pastel flat-brimmed hat ownership ranking.

Patrick Kane

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Actual age: 25

    The two-time Stanley Cup champion tries to hide his baby face behind an uneven crop of blonde facial hair, but he’s not fooling anyone. 

    Unfortunately for Patrick Kane, his boyish looks, along with some minor legal trouble, haven’t done much for his perceived maturity level over the years.

Jeremy Lin

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Actual age: 25

    You know what’s really Linsane? The fact that Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin is old enough to rent a car.

Stephen Curry

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Actual age: 26

    Poor Steph Curry. At 26 years old, the Golden State Warriors guard is already being compared to Reggie Miller and Ray Allen. Kevin Durant called him the "best shooter to ever play." He has been instrumental in the resurgence of the Warriors as a contender in the West.  

    Yet, unfortunately for Curry, even his meager attempt at a beard doesn't make him look older. According to an interview with ESPN Radio (h/t, Curry gets carded going to R-rated movies and admits he needs to “work on my facial hair game.”

    At least he has a sense of humor about it.

Justin Abdelkader

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Actual age: 27

    Justin Abdelkader is another NHL star who's followed in Sidney Crosby’s footsteps—as a boy in a man’s game, that is.

    I’ll tell you what, though—the Detroit Red Wings left wing and Team USA captain may look young, but he is menacing on the ice. According to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, he was just ejected from the IIHF World Championships for throwing a vicious hit on Vladimir Sobotka of the Czech Republic.

Buster Posey

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    Eric Risberg/Associated Press

    Actual age: 27

    San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey already has Rookie of the Year and NL MVP awards under his belt. He’s also a two-time All-Star who just signed a nine-year, $167 million contract extension in 2013.

    All this, and not only does he look like he’s 12 years old, but his first name is Buster—not a name generally associated with wisdom and maturity.

Tyler Hansbrough

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    Rocky Widner/Getty Images

    Actual age: 28

    I know Tyler Hansbrough is mammoth at 6’9” and 250 pounds, but work with me for a minute. If you just look at his face, he looks like a little kid. He looked that way at North Carolina, he looks that way now and he probably always will.

    Can’t change yo face.

Tayshaun Prince

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Actual age: 34

    Maybe it’s the freckles. Maybe it’s the lankiness or the quiet demeanor.

    Whatever it is, Tayshaun Prince seemingly does not age.

    He has an NBA championship, an Olympic gold medal and will apparently be young forever. I’d say Prince is pretty much killin' it.


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