Best 5th grade basketball player in the country?

The basketball world is watching Jaylin Fleming.

“I’ve never actually seen a kid like this,” Knicks head athletic trainer Roger Hinds said.

“As far as his age, he’s the best that I’ve seen,” said Refiloe Lethunya, a former Division I player, coach and NBA scout.

College and high school coaches are circling, inviting him to games and camps. He has established himself on the all-important AAU circuit. And he has already worked out with the Knicks and with the Bulls’ Derrick Rose.

Fleming is regarded by some as the most talented 10-year-old basketball player in the country.

The 5-foot-1 fifth-grader is more restrained: “I’m a humble kid who’s trying to achieve a goal.”

The push to get kids involved in sports at an early age is nothing new. Nor is the practice of high schools and colleges pursuing young athletes. (In February, DePaul offered a scholarship to a Rosemont eighth-grader.)

But this activity usually begins no earlier than at the sixth-grade level, when scouts start ranking players. Fifth grade is off the radar. So for a kid still in elementary school to get this type of attention is remarkable.

Not everybody says it’s a good thing.

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One Response to Best 5th grade basketball player in the country?

  1. Steve says:

    Quite a few great things about this story: 1) He has his father active in his life 2) He has his mother active in his life 3) He has the Bible and God active in his life. It was great to hear the dad state that grades came first in school and not athletics. Good story.

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