Ballin’! 9-year-old girl recruited by University of Miami basketball team


Jaden Newman spent three hours taking a tour of the University of Miami last week, where the women’s basketball coaching staff urged her to keep the Hurricanes in mind when it came time to make her college choice.

Jaden also happens to be 9 years old.

The fourth-grader, who has already played two seasons on the girls high school varsity team at Downey Christian School, a 300-student private school in Orlando, is now being actively recruited by Miami. She is believed to be the youngest girls player ever to get recruited by a Division I program.


“It did surprise me a little bit,” Jamie Newman, Jaden’s father and the coach of her basketball team, told “When I first got the call [from Miami assistant coach Derrick Gibbs], I thought it was for my son. I understand why, though, because she has an amazing skill set at 9 years old, and her potential is through the roof.”

Jaden, who averaged 14.5 points and 7.5 assists per game this past season while playing against teenagers, is a 4-foot-7 point guard who has gained national prominence for her performance. The family is no stranger to attention for basketball precocity, as her older brother, Julian, 12, played on the Downey Christian varsity boys team this winter as a sixth-grader.

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by Scott Stump, TODAY contributor |