9-year-old Orlando girl recruited by University of Miami

Fourth-grader sent official recruitment letter, invited to tour Coral Gables campus

By Alexandra Fruin - Producer
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Jaden Newman, 9, with her official recruitment letter from the University of Miami

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.

WPLG-TV reports Jaden Newman is already on a high school varsity team, playing point guard for Orlando's Downey Christian School. While the fourth grader 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. They showed me their basketball court and they showed me like all the campus, it was nice," said Newman. 

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 okay. "So when it comes to athletics, it's the same thing," said Jamie Newman. "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."

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