Julian Newman burst onto the youth basketball scene as a viral sensation when videos of his impressive skills went viral online. With his flashy ball handling, deep three point shooting range, and ability to dunk at his small stature, Newman quickly gained fame as a basketball prodigy.
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Newman continued to develop his skills and rack up accolades throughout middle school and high school. However, despite the hype surrounding him at a young age, Julian Newman has not yet achieved mainstream success at the professional level. This article will explore Newman’s background, his rise to fame, controversies surrounding his career, and what the young basketball phenom is up to now.
Julian Newman was born in 2001 in Orlando, Florida. He is the son of former college basketball player Jamie Newman, who trained Julian in basketball from a very young age. Julian began playing organized basketball at just 3 years old. By age 5, he was playing against 8- and 9-year-olds, and shooting three pointers on a 10-foot hoop.
Julian played for the Downey Christian varsity basketball team while in elementary school. He once scored 91 points in a single game. This garnered attention from the media and landed him on ESPN’s SportsCenter Top 10 plays at just 9 years old.
Rise to Fame
Newman’s online videos of him playing basketball went viral when he was in 5th grade. His flashy handles and ability to shoot three pointers with range well beyond the high school three point line dazzled viewers. Newman earned nicknames like “The Juice” for his exciting play.
The attention led Newman to appear on talk shows like Good Morning America and Inside Edition. He also landed sponsorship deals with companies like Under Armour. For a time, Julian Newman was one of the most famous youth basketball players in the world.
High School Career
Julian played basketball for Downey Christian School until 8th grade. He then transferred to Prodigy Prep Christian Academy, a basketball prep school run by his father Jamie Newman.
As a high school player, Newman continued to raise his profile. He set county records for points scored and three pointers made. Newman averaged over 30 points per game in his sophomore, junior and senior seasons.
However, despite his gaudy stats, Julian Newman never won a high school state championship. His teams often lost in early playoff rounds against tougher competition.
Many critiqued Newman for shooting too often at the expense of his teammates. Others questioned the level of competition he faced at the small private academies where he played.
Julian Newman generated controversy both for his ball-hogging style on the court and his father’s intense promotion of his basketball career.
Jamie Newman pulled Julian out of public school in 8th grade to homeschool him while focusing on basketball. Julian’s father also constantly promoted his son’s career on social media and through their YouTube channel, which had nearly 200,000 subscribers.
Critics accused Jamie of exploiting his son’s talent for fame and money. Julian’s former teammates also complained about his selfish style of play.
The controversy came to a head when Julian transferred to national basketball powerhouse Montverde Academy for his senior season. He quickly landed in the coach’s doghouse for his selfish style of play. Newman quit the team after just 5 games.
After High School
Newman graduated from Prodigy Prep Christian Academy in 2020 after transferring back for his final high school season. He was not able to land a spot playing for an NCAA Division I college basketball program or join the NBA.
Since graduating high school, details on Julian Newman’s current basketball career have been scarce. He continues to play in exhibition games and tournaments and produce YouTube videos. Newman has discussed trying to join the NBA G-League or play overseas. But so far, he has not landed a professional contract.
Newman also generates income through his social media channels, merchandise sales, and sponsorships. But he is no longer the viral internet sensation he once was during his middle school days.
What is Julian Newman up to now?
While Julian Newman has clearly fallen short of the sky-high expectations placed on him as a pre-teen social media phenom, he continues to pursue his basketball dreams. Here are a few key updates on what Newman is doing now:
- Still plays basketball in exhibition games and showcase events across the country. He has competed against former NBA players like Nate Robinson.
- Newman recently played professionally for the first time with Champagne Chinooks of The Basketball League. He appeared in 7 games but left the team in December 2022.
- Continues to produce content for his YouTube channel, which has over 180,000 subscribers. His videos feature basketball highlights, vlogs, and comedy sketches.
- Has discussed trying to join the NBA G-League and also playing overseas. But has not signed a professional contract since leaving the Chinooks.
- Split time between homes in Orlando and Las Vegas over the past couple years while continuing to train.
- Earned income through YouTube ad revenue, merchandise sales, brand sponsorships, and booking appearances/camps. But exact details of Newman’s finances are unclear.
- Focused lately on improving diet and fitness after realizing he needed to get stronger to compete against adults at the pro level.
So while Julian Newman is not currently playing for an NBA or NCAA team as many expected early on, he continues to pursue professional basketball. Time will tell whether he can achieve his goal of making the NBA or finding another pro path. But the former youth sensation still attracts an audience interested in his journey.
Julian Newman’s Accomplishments and Stats
Despite the controversies, Julian Newman still put up staggering numbers as a youth, middle school, and high school basketball player:
- Averaged nearly 40 points per game in 6th grade
- Scored 91 points in a single AAU game in 5th grade
- Ranks as Florida’s second all-time leading high school scorer with 3,897 points
- Averaged 32.7 points per game during his four year high school career
- Made 541 three pointers in high school, ranking top 15 all-time nationally
- Appeared 4 times in the ESPN Top 10 Plays, including twice as a 9 year old
- Named a Phenom Hoops Report Middle School All-American 4 times
- Earned All-State honors in Florida 3 times (1st team twice)
- Led Downey Christian to 4 consecutive conference championships
- Named All-American by MaxPreps, Phenom Hoops, and PrepCircuit.com
While Newman compiled these eye-popping stats against questionable competition, his natural talent and shooting ability are undeniable. He set several state and national records that may never be broken.
Concerns Surrounding Julian Newman’s Game
As Newman moved up to varsity basketball, glaring weaknesses in his game became exposed against tougher competition:
- Undersized as a shooting guard – listed at just 5’7″
- Lacked strength and explosiveness to finish at the rim
- Struggled mightily on defense due to size and lack of effort
- Did not distribute the ball enough or make teammates better
- Could not lead teams deep into playoffs against top competition
- Benefited from playing in weak conferences and against inferior players
These flaws, along with his shoot-first mentality, likely explain why Julian Newman never achieved stardom at higher levels of basketball after middle school.
While he can dominate against weaker players, Newman has struggled when facing elite high school, college, and professional defenders. His lack of size and one dimensional offensive game make it tougher for him to shine against bigger, quicker opponents.
What’s Next for Julian Newman?
As Julian Newman moves into his adult career, key questions remain about what level of basketball he can attain:
- Can he develop the all-around game needed to stick on an NBA G-League roster?
- Would he accept a secondary role to showcase his elite shooting ability?
- Could he swallow his pride and build up his game starting in lower leagues overseas?
- Is there still time for him to grow taller and develop his athleticism?
- Are there colleges willing to take a chance on the YouTube star despite past attitude concerns?
If Newman fails to mature and round out his game, he risks fading into basketball obscurity. He must improve his defense, playmaking ability, shot selection, and leadership to have any chance of gaining attention from the NBA.
But some promising signs exist. Newman appears dedicated to improving his fitness and nutrition. He also seems to realize the importance of playing team basketball as he now battles against professionals.
Newman’s youth career and fame have given him a platform to continue his quest. But in order to return to national prominence, Julian Newman will need to prove his skills against top notch competition rather than just dominating weaker players.
Frequently Asked Questions About Julian Newman
How old is Julian Newman now?
Julian Newman is currently 21 years old. He was born in 2001 in Orlando, Florida.
How tall is Julian Newman?
Newman is listed at 5’7″ as of 2022, which is small for a basketball player. There were hopes he may have a late growth spurt, but Newman is likely done growing now in his early 20s.
What high school did Julian Newman go to?
Newman attended Downey Christian School until 8th grade. He transferred to Prodigy Prep Christian Academy, run by his father, for most of high school. He briefly transferred to national power Montverde Academy before returning to Prodigy Prep for senior year.
Where does Julian Newman live now?
Newman appears to split time between homes in Orlando, Florida, where he was raised, and Las Vegas, Nevada in recent years. Las Vegas likely offers more opportunities to play against elite talent.
Is Julian Newman in the NBA?
No, Julian Newman has not played in the NBA. He went undrafted out of high school and has yet to sign an NBA contract or make an NBA roster. Newman most recently played professionally in The Basketball League before leaving that team after 7 games.
How did Julian Newman become famous?
Julian Newman first went viral online in elementary school for videos showcasing his impressive shooting range and ball handling skills. His flashy play made him a youth basketball phenom. Newman’s father also heavily promoted his son’s talent on their family YouTube channel.
Why did Julian Newman switch high schools?
Newman switched high schools frequently, at one point attending 3 different schools in 4 years. His father cited finding better competition as the reason. But critics alleged his father was school shopping to inflate Julian’s stats against weaker teams.
Is Julian Newman’s dad famous?
Jamie Newman, Julian’s father, gained fame for promoting his son’s basketball career starting from when Julian was around 5 years old. He trained Julian, put out mixtapes of his highlights, and created their YouTube channel. Jamie Newman also started Prodigy Prep specifically for Julian to play at.
Some praised Jamie’s work ethic but many criticize him for exploiting his son’s talent. Jamie Newman has also faced legal issues around operating Prodigy Prep.
Julian Newman’s journey encapsulates the highlights and pitfalls that come with Internet fame and early athletic success. While he achieved staggering benchmarks as a viral youth basketball prodigy, Newman has struggled to replicate that success against tougher competition.
Off the court controversies and questions around Newman’s work ethic and selfish style of play have followed him just as much as his flashy highlight reel plays. As he now tries to carve a professional basketball career, Newman must focus on improving his all-around game and contributing to winning basketball.
Regardless of what level Julian Newman reaches in his continuing basketball career, his extreme early highs and lows provide an interesting case study. In a social media fueled sports landscape, Newman’s trajectory illustrates how quickly we can hype up young athletes or tear them down.
Newman’s story is still unfolding. With his athletic gifts, work ethic, and name recognition he remains one of the more fascinating basketball prospects, despite underwhelming results after high school. There likely remain more chapters to write in the saga of Julian Newman.