Thursday, June 27, 2019
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“Small” can be used in a negative way: small potato or small fry, too little too late, a little shaver, small talk, down to the minors, even a little fart.
It can also be positive: small fortune, little debt, little damage, remember not to sweat the small stuff.
Then, there is Julian Newman: a boy amongst men, a small tree in a big forest.
How about: size doesn’t matter?
That is the case for little 4-foot 5 inch tall Julian Newman. He is a 5th grader who was just bumped up to start on the high school varsity basketball team. That’s right; an 11 year old is the starting point guard for Downey Christian High School’s varsity basketball team.
Speaking of little, Downey Christian High School has five kids in this year’s graduating class, 22 kids in the whole high school. The grand total of kids in the whole school including all the elementary grades is 271.
Needless to say, Julian is now the “BMOC”; Big Man On Campus! A big frog in a small pond.
When he scored 91 points in just 3 quarters in one of his middle school basketball games, they felt it was time to move him up, straight to the top. No small move there! From middle school to high school varsity.
Looking at the schools’ enrollment, I am guessing there is no freshman or junior varsity team.
I saw the YouTube clip of Julian playing basketball. He is really good. Not only does he have an advanced skill level both in dribbling and shooting, but he also has a highly developed knowledge of the game. His floor play is way beyond his years. They call him “handles” because of the way he handles the “rock”.
He leads the state of Florida in assists per game at 11.5, and is 19th in the country in that same category. That is no small accomplishment.
His YouTube video clip had over 100,000 views in just 24 hours. This was no small feat!
And it is a small world, because his dad, Jamie Newman is his coach. No minor coincidence there….
So, now I have 2 small questions to ask:
#1. How would you feel if a 5th grader in your local “feeder” school got moved up to the varsity team and took the place of your 12th grade son? Slim chance of that you think?
Come on, with a little patience, he can wait for his time just like everyone else.
What do you think?
Here’s my little bitty opinion: At that level, I feel that neither grade nor size matters. At the varsity level, you put out the best product that you can put together.
If the kid can mentally, physically, and emotionally handle it, then it should be ok. And remember, he is playing the point guard position, not small forward.
We can’t be small-minded when it comes to varsity level sports.
#2. Does being the starting point guard for an 11 year old create too much pressure and false expectations for the future?
I don’t think so. I think he loves every minute of it. The way he handles the basketball and shoots the ball, you can tell that he spends plenty of hours in the gym practicing. This is what he wants. This is what he is working for.
Can it create false expectations? This is the part that I see as the biggest negative. I hope his dad/coach will be able to walk through this with him, and be the adult here to try to limit those expectations, and let him take small steps… one step at a time.
This is a little guy with a big heart, big dreams, and a lot of drive. He brings to life the fact that good things come in small packages.
I wish him a lot of success in a very big way!
What do you think? Let your small voice be heard…. Email me with your opinion:

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