Standing at a height of 4-foot, 5-inches tall, and weighing in at 70 pounds, Julian Newman, an 11-year-old basketball prodigy, has taken the sporting world by storm. Though he is 4-years younger than his teammates and a good 14-inches shorter than most of them, this young man has moves that havecaptured the attention of the viewing world, including Inside Edition, Steve Harvey and the NBA. In fact, he’s been invited to perform at an Orlando Magic game. Joe Davis, the national recruiting coordinator for ScoutsFocus, a group that evaluates and ranks high school players, helped cause the video to blow up on the Internet. He told the New York Times, “He’s smaller, so that’s going to be his main obstacle, but he has a great future once he hits a growth spurt or two.”
Julian is in the 5th grade, and is already “a beast” on the court. His basketball abilities have become a YouTube viral sensation with over 2 million views to date. But don’t let this pint-sized young brother’s height fool you. Julian’s prowess with the ball is so smooth that he goes by the nickname “Handles” online. He’s fixated on the game, asking for only basketball related gifts and presents on his birthdays and Christmas. In order to keep his skills on point, Julian demands his family be near a court or gym if they go on a trip.
Newman’s stats are impressive, averaging 12.4 points, 11 assists and 4.3 steals in three starting games. Newman is allowed to take the court against much older boys because Downey Christian is an independent school operating outside the jurisdiction of the Florida High School Athletics Association.
When the 5th grader is not practicing his game, he’s hard at work in school and often spends his extra time on the computer memorizing and teaching himself ball-handling tricks. According to his father, Jamie Newman, who coaches the prep basketball team, “People say don’t put all your eggs in one basket. But it helps you.”
Read more: Black Like Moi