8th Grader Commits to Kentucky Hoops

You’ve probably asked yourself at some point what age is too young? For Karl Malone, 11 might seem to be the appropriate answer. For Roger Clemens, 14 might be the breaking point. But for Billy Gillispie, 14 seems like it might be the prime age. Sports by Brooks brings it to my attention the news that Kentucky has offered a scholarship and received a commitment from an 8th grader. As you could probably imagine, the news has turned some heads:

When news of the commitment reached a meeting of the UK Athletics Association Board of Directors on Thursday, it stunned school President Lee T. Todd Jr.

“An eighth-grader?!” he blurted out.

After noting that plenty of time remained for such an early commitment to be rescinded, Todd expressed his wish that Kentucky not regularly seek a college choice from a child who had not yet entered high school.

To put this in proper prospective, Michael Avery (the middle-schooler in question), has not yet selected a high school! The Lake Sherwood kid is thinking about going to Crespi here in Encino, or potentially to a private school in Indiana. Look, I’m not out to say that you can’t tell if a basketball player’s exceptional even at the young age of 14, but just the thought is disturbing. Honestly, pick a high school first, and then worry about a college.

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  • SpinMax

    NCAA rules make ya sick sometimes huh? If Ohio St offered me a scholarship at age 10 I’d say YYESSSS! Any kid would.

  • Ronald

    If a kid’s good, he’s good. I don’t see anything wrong with that. They have plenty of time to change their minds anyway.

  • JS

    These youngsters start traveling the country on all-star teams at a very young age. A friend just returned from Houston when his eigth grader son played in a 74 team tournament. Kevin Love and O.J. Mayo first became friends in seventh grade while playing in tournaments.

    So it’s not difficult for savvy talent evaluators to identify these 13 year olds and then they receive offers. But a lot of water can go under the bridge before signing day of their senior years.