10-Year-Old Basketball Player - world record set by Jaylin
CHICAGO, IL, USA -- Jaylin Fleming, a 10-year-old
fifth grader at Beasley Academic Center in Chicago, coached
by his father, is already drawing the attention of college
and professional basketball coaches after 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 , setting the world record for the Best
10-Year-Old Basketball Player.
So far, the 5-foot-1 Jaylin is shrugging
off the attention, telling the Tribune: "I'm a humble kid
who's trying to achieve a goal."
passion for mastering the skills of his sport, at least at
this point, is very evident, and the solid foundational upbringing
of placing family, school, and religion as important pieces
in his life is also obvious.
"You can tell by his passion for the game,
how much he loves the game of basketball," Morgan Park coach
Nick Irvin said. "You can see that he has the desire for it.
Jaylin has a look in his eyes that he won't be denied."
Jaylin is an A and B student who fits in
two hours of homework each night, goes to Bible study on Thursdays
and loves video games and playing football with his little
brother. "I never feel pressure to play," Jaylin said. "I
want to play basketball. I just stay humble and keep working
Anne Stein, writing for the Tribune, notes
that Jaylin has already worked out with players from the Knicks
and the Bulls and has college and high school coaches buzzing.
"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.
Even Bulls star Derrick Rose is impressed
with this 10-year-old basketball prodigy. "He's better than
me -- that's what's crazy about it," Rose said. "His talent
is one of a kind. Kids his age rarely do the stuff he does....He
does moves that a grown-up does."
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.
John Fleming coaches his son two or three
times a week with local high school coaches, and his son has
worked out with the Knicks and Bulls.
Jaylin's father said he knew his son was
special the moment he was born. "All the doctors and nurses
noticed (his hands)," John Fleming said. "They were incredibly
huge, and I was praying and asking God, what would Jaylin
be, what would he do with those hands?"
The answer came seven years later. Jaylin
tagged along while his dad and older brother shot hoops with
future Marquette point guard Maurice Acker, John Fleming's
godson. When his dad left the gym, Jaylin copied Acker's drills.
"When I walked back in, Maurice told me what Jaylin was doing
with the ball and I could hear God saying this is what he's
supposed to do," John Fleming said. "He gave me the understanding
to see that Jaylin was born to play this game."
John Fleming disagrees with those who say
Jaylin is on the wrong path. “One of our family quotes is,
“Why not me?” Fleming said. “Why can’t you do it? Who puts
the limitations on you? He’s encouraged and taught and allowed
to dream like that, as long as his aspirations are to serve
the greater good. I teach him that basketball is about inspiring
It is heartwarming to see how involved his
parents are in his life outside of the basketball court as
well as on it. When his father talks of making sure there's
"discipline and structure" in Jaylin's life, you can see the
value in that statement.
The family wants Jaylin to attend a high
school and college with strong student-athlete policies. "I
want to put my son in someone's hands who's a father figure
on and off the court," John Fleming said, "to provide the
discipline and structure he needs to develop as a student
and an athlete, and as a human being, ready to be in society."