University Recruits 9-Year-Old Basketball Prodigy, But Is It Appropriate?!

I saw this story on TV a few weeks ago but I just read this article saying that 9 year old Jaden Newman has been recruited by the University of Miami to play Division I women's basketball. She's apparently not the only one either. There are a few kids around 13 or 14 that have already committed to play sports at a particular college once they graduate.

Despite the knee-jerk reaction to say that 9 years old is too young to worry about college, the author actually approves of the situation. She says that as long as the parents and coaches are focusing on encouragement rather then pressure it's great to see young female athletes excited about college. In fact, it's great to see children athletes in general focused on education rather then just getting rich and famous.

My personal opinion is that it's a very delicate situation. This girl is only in the 4th grade but is already better then most of her high school varsity team mates. She needs some where to go from here. If she was a math prodigy who had already passed all of the high school math classes no one would think twice about letting her take college courses. She has the right to pursue her talents and interest the same way by getting support from the university team.

The delicate part is that she is still a kid. She has a lot of other things to learn both in school and life before she's let's college basketball take over everything. It also seems like SHE is the one who loves to play, it's not her parents forcing her. They're supporting her and looking out for her. If it was the parents pushing her then I'd be completely against it. Basically, I think it's okay in this situation but it wouldn't necessarily be right for every child athlete with exceptional talent.

What do you think about kids this young getting recruited to college?…

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      It's similar to my niece who got put into a Talented and Gifted program at school. My sister and BIL got approached to have my niece skip a grade. She is only 5. My niece's pediatrician said her emotional level doesn't fit someone in the 1st grade. As a parallel, is a 9 year old emotionally ready to decide her fate for where she goes to college & to pursue college basketball when college is how many years away? What if the 9 year old decides she doesn't want to play basketball anymore and wants to pursue other interests?...Is she going to be bold enough to say I want to do something else? That puts her in the predicament of having to follow through on something that she decided at 9. That is ludicrous!!!
      About Taylor
      Current: Chanhassen, Minnesota
      Birth: July 26
      On since: Dec 18, 2013
      I'm the proud mama of my daughter Avery, born on June 6, 2013. I'm 26 years old, I work from home as a graphic designer, I will be testing for my 5th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do in 2015. My husband, Derek, and I have been happily married for 3 years.