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Jacob Newman, 11, is the best player Porter Ridge ‘has ever seen’

By Langston Wertz Jr.
lwertz@charlotteobserver.com
0629youngstars
T. Ortega Gaines - ogaines@charlotteobserver.com

Indian Trail’s Jacob Newman, 11, is considered one of the best basketball players in the state by top level basketball coaches in his age group. That’s also true in football.

The Porter Ridge Athletic Association annually fields teams in baseball, soccer, softball, basketball and football.

“Up until this point,” said Jeff Sullivan, who is football commissioner for the association, “he’s the best player the Porter Ridge Athletic Association has ever seen.”

Newman, a running back who will be a fifth grader at Indian Trail Elementary in the fall, played for Sullivan’s Junior PeeWee team last season, playing against older players. He rushed for 2,760 yards, 31 touchdowns and had 65 tackles. Against Weddington, he rushed for 329 yards and seven touchdowns on 26 carries. Against Matthews, he rushed 26 times for 443 yards and six touchdowns.

In the past three years, Newman has 7,707 yards and 90 touchdowns.

He’s just as dominant as a point guard in basketball. Newman’s been invited to the Bball Spotlight Future Phenom Camp in Maryland Aug. 23-24. The camp brings together some of the nation’s top 3rd- through 8th-graders. In two seasons playing for the Queen City Athletic Association (QCAA), Newman has averaged 21 points, five rebounds, five steals and six assists. His teams are 73-8 in his age group and have won 21 tournaments, including three state tournaments and one national championship from various organizations.

“He’s an unbelieveable player,” said Edward Addie, QCAA president. “His strength and athleticism set him apart from anyone I’ve seen in this age group in the last 20 years. If he continues to develop on a normal scale, expect to see him debut in the (national) top 50 (rankings in high school) and go on to be a high major Division I prospect.”

Newman’s father said Jacob’s talent comes from within.

“He’s got a real strong mind and he’s gifted,” said Tim Newman Sr., a former All-American running back at Johnson C. Smith. “And Jacob has always tried to prove that he’s better than his older brother. That’s what drives him.”

Tim Newman Jr. rushed for 2,900 yards and 31 touchdowns for Porter Ridge Athletic Association last year, playing as the only 7th-grader on an 8th-grade Junior Midget team. Tim Jr, 12, will be an 8th-grader at Sun Valley Middle next fall. Older sister, Desiree, is a two-time Charlotte Observer All-Mecklenburg basketball player who will be a junior at Matthews Covenant Day School.

Jacob said he likes basketball and football equally. He credits his siblings for always pushing him to get better, particularly big brother.

“When I started, I was in my brother’s shadow, and I wanted to come out and show everybody I could be better,” Jacob said. “I look up to my brother. He’s good. I still feel like he’s better than me, and I have a lot more work to do.”

Jacob Newman plays on the fourth grade AAU basketball team coached by the writer of this article.

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