The New York Times is concerned about the hype that recruiters place on young sixth grade athletes. You know what would definitely help with that? A feature story in The New York Times!
Every so often, it is necessary for someone to bemoan the fact that recruiting and ranking sixth grade basketball players puts untoward pressure on young people who have yet to even grow into their bodies. All it does is create unreasonable expectations that are nearly impossible to live up to. On the other hand, if there was sixth grader out there who was 6'2" and could palm a basketball wouldn't you want to know about it?
The kid of the moment is Perry Dozier Jr., a 5'6" point guard who made it to All-Star Weekend last month as part of something called the Jr. NBA team. (I don't even want to know what their salary cap is.) He's the No. 1 ranked kid in the class of 2015, he has his own website, and I have no doubt that he could beat me in one-on-one. (I'm more of a "pass first" kind of guy.)
There are many possible outcomes for his career that would be considered respectable, even great, but if he is not an NBA first-rounder at some point in the future will he be able to live with that? Will the friends and family and various "consultants" who surround him be able to? Either way, I'm sure a big splashy photo in The New York Times will not magically put less pressure on him.
Heck, the kid is from South Carolina. It'll be a miracle if he doesn't end up as a night manager at Speedway.
First Impressions Can Create Unrealistic Expectations for Young Basketball Recruits [NY Times]
Perry Dozier Jr.