It may be shocking to some that LeBron James’ very talented 10-year old son has already received college basketball scholarship offers. But in some parts of the world, they would say, “What took so long?”
"It's pretty crazy. It should be a violation,” LeBron told CBS Detroit. “You shouldn't be recruiting 10-year-old kids."
Across the pond, it’s a much different story for young athletes. The youth academies of European professional football (soccer) clubs evaluate kids as young as five years old. Seven and eight-year olds are signed to professional contracts and are commonplace in their academies.
And this has been going on for quite some time. The "New York Times" ran an eye-opening story in 2010 featuring the youth academy of the famous Dutch soccer club Ajax.
“Ronald de Jong invited me to go scouting with him one Saturday,” Michael Sokolove wrote in the Times article. “He had his eye on a specific target — “a 2004,” he said, referring to a birth year. A 5-year-old whom he had seen and was checking in with every month or so. This boy might not even be in school yet, I pointed out.
“I don’t think he is,” de Jong said with a slight smile, as if he recognized the absurdity. “I believe he’s in day care.”
Another gem from the article:
“…(an academy administrator from London) recently received a call from a rival club asking if it could schedule a game against his “elite 5s” — 5-year-olds. He replied, “We don’t have elite 5s, but we’ll play your expectant mothers.”
Two years younger than Bronny
Here’s Chelsea FC sensation, Denim Nnamudi, showing off his off-the-charts potential (notice his nearly 2,000,000 You Tube views). He's just eight years old.
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