- Odd News
When the Downey Christian School varsity basketball team takes the court, all eyes are on their star player. Though at 4-years younger than his teammates, and 14-inchest shorter than the next smallest player, they may have to strain to see him.
At only 4-foot-five-inches tall and 70 pounds, Julian Newman, 11, has taken the basketball world by storm and he still can't even drive.
Still only in in 5th grade, Newman has become a viral sensation with video of him taking on players twice his size racking up more than 2 million views on YouTube.
Newman's basketball prowess has attracted international media attention and appearances on 'Inside Edition' and the 'Steve Harvey' show
The pint-sized point guard has attracted the attention of 'Inside Edition,' been invited on 'Steve Harvey,' and even been invited to perform at an Orlando Magic game.
'He’s a very talented kid and comes from a great family,' Joe Davis, the national recruiting coordinator for ScoutsFocus, 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.'
ScoutsFocus, which evaluates and ranks high school players, helped put the viral video together.
Julian's prowess with the ball is so slick he goes by the nickname 'Handles' online.
He's obsessive about the game, asking for only hoops-related presents on birthdays and Christmas and demanding the family be near a court or gym if they go on a trip.
Newman obsesses over basketball, insisting a court always be nearby whenever the family goes on trips
What little time he does spend on a computer is spent memorizing ball-handling tricks he then goes off to teach himself.
'People say don’t put all your eggs in one basket,' said his father, Jamie Newman, who coaches the basketball team. 'But it helps you.'
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.
Without the footage to back Newman up it would be easy to cry nepotism as his father, Jamie Newman, coaches the team. Then there's the numbers posted in his 3 starts this year: a per game average of 12.4 points, 11 assists, and 4.3 steals.
'He has a tremendous skill level,' Jamie Newman told MaxPreps. 'He has moves that even NBA players don't have. He does stuff that hasn't been done before with the ball.'
Baller: He's not even five feet tall but Julian Newman, 11, is already crushin opponents twice his size with his amazing ball-handling abilities
Hoops: Even against players that tower over him, Newman averages 12.4 points per game
Take it to the hole: Julian burns passed older and more experienced opponents with his prodigious talents
'[Julian] is one of their better players,” Crooms Academy coach Don Smith told MaxPreps. 'He’s not playing just because he is Jamie’s son.'
2012 was a good year for diminutive sports starts.
This August in Tennessee, 5-foot-1 sixth grader Andrew Robison became the youngest quarterback to throw a touchdown pass in a varsity football game
Watch video here