CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The University of Miami isn't limiting talent scouting for their teams to high school -- or even middle school. Among the latest future stars to visit campus is a 9-year-old basketball standout.
Jaden Newman is already on a high school varsity team, playing point guard for Orlando's Downey Christian School. While the fourth-grade student has years to decide where she'll go for college, the University of Miami wants her to consider becoming a Hurricane.
The university courted her by sending her an official recruitment letter and invited her to tour the Coral Gables campus.
"They showed me around," said Newman. "They showed me their basketball court and they showed me, like, all the campus. It was nice."
While there is criticism that such early recruitment puts too much pressure on young players, Newman's father disagrees.
"If it's a 9-year-old prodigy math whiz and he's taking college courses, it's OK," said Jamie Newman. "So when it comes to athletics, it's the same thing. It's not kind of a hobby. It's a passion and a love that she has for the game."
With the help of coaching from her dad, Newman is averaging 14.8 points per game and 7.5 assists.
At just 4 feet 5 inches tall, Jaden certainly has room to grow before considering colleges and says she feels she's just like any other fourth grader.
"I'm just going to keep practicing hard and doing what I'm doing now," she said.
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