June 17, 2014 at 12:00 PM
(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Jaden Newman is only 9, but her skills on the basketball court are earning her the attention of one of the nation’s most prestigious college sports programs.
Jaden, a fourth grader from Orlando, Fla., was sent an official recruitment letter from the University of Miami and has already toured the university’s Coral Gables campus.
“They showed me their basketball court and they showed me their campus,” Jaden told local ABC affiliate WPLG. “It was nice.”
Jaden, who at 4-foot-5 is a long way from her first dunk, first made headlines in January when she made the varsity team of her local high school, Downey Christian School, as point guard.
She began playing basketball at the age of 3 with her father Jamie Newman, who is now his daughter’s trainer.
Newman says he is both not surprised that his daughter is being recruited at the collegiate level nor worried that a college is looking at such a young player.
“If it’s a 9-year-old prodigy math whiz and he’s taking college courses, it’s okay,” Newman said. “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,” he said.
Jaden, who is averaging 14.8 points per game and 7.5 assists, according ot WPLG, says she is not going to let all the attention effect her game or her life.
“I just feel like a pretty normal fourth grader,” Jaden said. “I’m just going to keep practicing hard and keep doing what I’m doing now.”
Top level college sports teams have been increasingly scouting elementary schools for talent and making offers to kids who have yet to pick a high school.
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