Amazingly talented 11-year-old is only 4-foot-5 & already a star varsity basketball player (VIDEO)

As a 5-foot-2 23-year-old, I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that there are some things my shortness will never allow me to do--reach the very top shelf without standing on my tippy toes or become a NBA star, for instance (my complete and utter lack of athletic skills obviously has nothing to do with that second on). But after hearing the story of Julian Newman, I'm starting to rethink my options!

Newman is just 4 feet, 5 inches tall and 11 years old, but he's never let that stop him from pursuing his love of basketball. Despite his young age and the fact that he's 14 inches (mores than a foot!) shorter than the next-smallest player on his team, he is already a member of the varsity high school basketball team at Florida's Downey Christian School. That's right! In fact, Newman is so skilled on the court that he not plays with the more advanced team made up kids years older than him, he's actually one of the star players--the starting point guard, to be exact.


According to a recent profile done in the New York Times, the fifth-grader started playing at age 3 and has never stopped. He fills his days by practicing in the gym or in his front yard, where his father, Jamie, the coach at Downey Christian, has painted lines to mimic that of a college court. Every single day, Newman practices until he sinks 100 free throws, 200 floaters, and 200 jump shots. The only time he's ever skipped this routine is when he sprained his ankle and had to miss a couple days. Wow! Now, that's real dedication.

And as if that wasn't amazing enough, Newman is also a straight-A student, largely because of a rule imposed by his parents that requires him to do homework before he gets on the court. Talk about an amazing overachiever!

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But the only way to truly show Newman's talent is by watching him doing what he loves. I might have been a little skeptical if I hadn't watched the video below and seen with my own eyes how ridiculously skilled this little kid is. It blows my mind to see this fifth-grader running amongst kids that are at times, several feet taller than him and making shots over their heads.

His talent and determination is not only impressive, it's downright inspiring (especially for a fellow vertically-challenged person like me!). I have no doubt Newman has a bright future ahead of him. 

Watch him for yourself here:

Image via YouTube

Topics: inspirational video  inspiring stories  kids