The Next Great Basketball Jordan?
January 11, 2011 2:16 AM   Subscribe

12-year-old Jordan McCabe will kick your ass on the basketball court, and mine too.

Sweet no-look passes and double dribbling skills too. As the video title says: Now this kid's got game.

The voice over is a little annoying, and not sure this kid qualifies as a 'hero', but that takes nothing away from his abilities. If all goes well, he could be in the NBA in six or seven years.
posted by bwg (59 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I wish John Candy did the voice over. It'd be perfect.
posted by lemuring at 2:31 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


The voice over is a little annoying,

He did NOT just shriek "two balls between the legs!"
posted by dersins at 2:42 AM on January 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Nice dribbling. Kid's got some game. Not sure how applicable those awesome dribbling skills are in an actual game, they still only use one ball. Maybe some pick-up basketball or against the Washington Generals.
posted by IvoShandor at 2:48 AM on January 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Isn't he too short to play in the NBA? His dad doesn't look that big. If he winds up under 6', which appears quite likely, he's chances are slim.

That's the problem with basketball. It's a pity he doesn't play soccer. There his height would be such an issue and if he had juggling and dribbling skills like that he'd a shot at winding up like Messi.

But any 12 year old who works hard enough to do what he's doing is going to get along in life.
posted by sien at 2:56 AM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Holy crap that narrator was obnoxious.
posted by delmoi at 3:04 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


If all goes well...
posted by Hicksu at 3:14 AM on January 11, 2011


sien: "Isn't he too short to play in the NBA? His dad doesn't look that big. If he winds up under 6', which appears quite likely, he's chances are slim."

I dunno, Spud Webb did all right.
posted by bwg at 3:16 AM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


This video is really strange and sort of funny. Does Seattle really have no good basketball players? Some kid from Wisconsin moves to town and the town goes crazy? All those cuh-razy, mind-blowing dribbling moves are . . . dribbling drills. That you learn at basketball camp. If this dude went to Indiana for a weekend in the summer and entered a high school gym - actually, on second thought, bad idea. His poor little heart would explode!
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:31 AM on January 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


Point guard. A good one.
posted by Flex1970 at 3:38 AM on January 11, 2011


He's pretty fucking great at handling a ball, but if he's going to go anywhere past impressing Uncle Bill on Tiny Talent Time he'll have to grow an awful lot (or be fantastically quick) before he'll be effective against guys who are 275 pounds, 7 feet tall, and also pretty fucking great at handling (and blocking and stealing) a ball.
posted by pracowity at 3:46 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


And boom goes the dynamite.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:56 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is his dad's youtube channel I'm guessing, as it has about a dozen various clips of his half time shows and whatnot. (In place of the terrible voiceover is terrible stadium reverb R&B.)
posted by Rhomboid at 3:56 AM on January 11, 2011


I'm going to agree with Hall and Oats, here. He certainly has skills, but I bet any one of us could find another 12 year old in a nearby metropolitan area with comparable abilities.

Don't get me wrong, there's potential there, but nothing to show me he can handle himself when the AAU game is being ref'd by a second string college senior who swears his basketball career was stifled by a coach who started his kid over him. Wunderkid don't handle handchecking or a Lustcoff-style finger around the shorts.

Oh, and not to set off a tangent, but you don't need to look far for other 12 year old talent... There's a couple black ones in related videos if you search.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 4:51 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Objectively, how does the kid compare to other 12 year olds?
posted by effugas at 5:08 AM on January 11, 2011


Objectively, how does the kid compare to other 12 year olds?

He's very good. Much better than most. Hell, in terms of ball-handling and court vision, for a 12 year old, he's great. But he's small, he has a bad shot, and he doesn't appear overly athletic. I mentioned Indiana earlier because if you want to see a bunch of really skilled but unathletic 12 year old white kids, by God, get thee on a plane to the land of the Hoosiers and how. They're a dime a dozen there. For me, the video is comical because the overly excited and hyperbolic tone of the newsman is really incommensurate with the kid's talent. And the headline of this post is equally over the top - "The Next Great Basketball Jordan" - this kid would be lucky to be the next Jason Williams. And that's if everything lines up for him and he grows another foot.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:17 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


H&O--

He's a bad shot? I'm curious, how were you able to tell this?
posted by effugas at 5:19 AM on January 11, 2011


He shoots from his shoulder and he needs a bit of a wind-up. And it's not a quick trigger. Maybe when he's a bit older and bigger and stronger he'll be able to get the ball a little higher and release a little quicker. But for now it looks like - well, for lack of a better term, it looks like a "kids shot."
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:21 AM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dude did his dribbling drills for sure. His footwork looks pretty good, or at least on that one turnaround bank shot I saw. He doesn't have a classic shooting stroke. He pushes from his chin, especially at distance, and at his height, that's gonna get his shot blocked a lot. But as a set shooter, the release itself looks good. And there have been funkier strokes that've worked before; as long as you're consistent and the shot goes in, no one would suggest he change it.

As for 12 year olds in his area, I'm sure he's good. But if he's playing with kids who play decent defense, dribbling skills only take you so far. Unless you have serious quicks, which I'm not sure he has, you're not going to blow by folks. You can shift the defender and create angles, which definitely helps with passing, but at that age, flat-out raw talent beats refinement any day and every day. It's true, but there are so many skills in basketball that you just can't help but be born with. I pass by a middle school playground every so often on my way home here in New York, and probably half the players on the court would beat him one-on-one. In a team setting he'd probably have an advantage, but quickness kills in basketball. Fancy dribbling is only good for halftime shows and occasionally punking your defender.

tl;dr: He's not the next Jordan. But he could probably beat me.
posted by jng at 5:28 AM on January 11, 2011


(Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates: "And the headline of this post is equally over the top - "The Next Great Basketball Jordan""

I guess you missed that glaring question mark.

And read the post again, carefully. I didn't say he was a phenom, I said he has some good skills, and with luck (meaning if he grows and everything goes right, he might one day reach the NBA, if that is his goal, which they mentioned in the video).

The headline was also a play on Michael Jordan.

But I wasn't kidding when I said he could beat me on the court, he probably could.
posted by bwg at 5:31 AM on January 11, 2011


bwg: Sorry about that. As I was crafting my comment, I look up at the url and apparently question marks aren't included in those. It just says "The-Next-Great-Basketball-Jordan." I don't want to poo-poo this kid's skills or the post. If this turned into a collection of videos of super talented 12 year olds, that'd be awesome. It's just that the newsman's voice over was so ridiculously over the top and strange, I had to comment!
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:35 AM on January 11, 2011


Basketball is a difficult game for kids to play because of the "scale" of the game. A child playing soccer or football or baseball can simply not throw or kick the ball as far and everyone can play. But if you can't get the ball up to the 10' rim, you're just not playing basketball. Consequently kids who start the game early have the "push" shot that Hall and Oates is talking about. Then the high school coach has to rework that shot when they get to the high school level. I had no interest in basketball until I was 13, so my Dad was able to teach me a proper jump shot. My shot is a bit like Larry Bird in that I bring it behind my head more than most people, but I have always shot it with the proper wrist flick and elbow tuck etc. I routinely see kids at the Y who are around 8 years old flinging the ball up with the worst form and there's someone clearly eagerly coaching them. It's not that I don't think little kids should play basketball if they like it, but again the game has that scale drawback that I mentioned. Of course, that being said, I watched a women's college game this weekend and I noticed that the push shot was more or less the norm in their game, so maybe it can work just fine with refinement.

I'd say the kid's biggest "problem" is that he is clearly imitating things he sees on TV or videos. I had a tendency to do that, too, both in basketball and martial arts when I was younger. If you are imitating some flashy move, you are not doing the thing that really takes physical movement (or creative work) to the next level, which is to spontaneously react from experience. Like Bruce Lee said "Be like water."
posted by Slothrop at 5:41 AM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, seconding that, while the kid has obviously spent a ton of time dribbling, he's far from being anywhere in the "next Jordan" conversation at this point.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:49 AM on January 11, 2011


(Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates: "bwg: Sorry about that. As I was crafting my comment, I look up at the url and apparently question marks aren't included in those. It just says "The-Next-Great-Basketball-Jordan." I don't want to poo-poo this kid's skills or the post. If this turned into a collection of videos of super talented 12 year olds, that'd be awesome. It's just that the newsman's voice over was so ridiculously over the top and strange, I had to comment"

Sorry, I didn't realise the ? wasn't in the URL. And I don't blame your reaction; the announcer annoyed the shit out of me too. " )

But that's actually a great idea; if anyone else has vids of kids with mad basketball skills I'd like to see them, if only to confirm there are others, or even to see if there are better kids out there.
posted by bwg at 5:50 AM on January 11, 2011


Leave it to metafilter to shoot down a kid who obviously has a lot of potential.
posted by sunshinesky at 5:57 AM on January 11, 2011 [6 favorites]




Yeah. The kid actually totally sucks. Lebron James would wipe the floor with that punk!

Also, point of order: shouldn't "Eric's Little Heros" actually be "Eric's Lil' Heroes?"

Sincerely,
Lebron James
posted by En0rm0 at 6:03 AM on January 11, 2011


Leave it to metafilter to shoot down a kid who obviously has a lot of potential.

Don't you watch sports? The only way to succeed is to prove the haters wrong. If anything, I'm helping the kid realize his ultimate potential. Hey, kid! You'll never be anything! You shoot like a girl!

Ten years of drinking on that haterade, he'll be an All-Star.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:04 AM on January 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Apparently there's some Central Casting for overenthusiastic local news basketball commentators.

Oh wait, I think it's actually the same guy. Dude, get a new script. But anyway... this kid is at least on the same level as McCabe.
posted by kmz at 6:09 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


kmz: "Apparently there's some Central Casting for overenthusiastic local news basketball commentators. "

Yep, that kid is good too. Hell be scary good when he gets bigger.
posted by bwg at 6:13 AM on January 11, 2011


I can't help but wonder if a kid spending two hours a day in the gym at 12yrs old is going to burn out on the sport before his college applications are in.

I see it all the time with cycling, but then again, 2hrs/day would be an ineffectively light workout load for cycling.
posted by entropone at 6:15 AM on January 11, 2011


Leave it to metafilter's informed observers to shoot down a kid provide a rational perspective about a kid who obviously has a lot of potential is above average for his age.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 6:24 AM on January 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


With any luck this kid could be the next Arthur Agee or William Gates!
posted by shakespeherian at 6:32 AM on January 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


He needs more tattoos if he ever hopes to make the NBA.
posted by wabashbdw at 6:39 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


12-year-old Jordan McCabe will kick your ass on the basketball court

Nah, I'd foul the shit out of that kid whenever he tried to come inside.
posted by electroboy at 6:40 AM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm taller than him. I'd get more rebounds, partly because I'm used to playing people who are taller than me. I'd beat him.
posted by theichibun at 6:45 AM on January 11, 2011


Please please please read "Playing Their Hearts Out" and you'll never want to watch a youtube video of elementary school kids playing basketball again.
posted by JPD at 7:26 AM on January 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ah yes. The see-say voice over.
There's nothing quite like someone telling you what you're looking at.
posted by DonnyMac at 7:27 AM on January 11, 2011


I'm surprised the scrimmage didn't turn out like this.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:32 AM on January 11, 2011


"He does things with two balls that most of us couldn't do with one."
posted by kirkaracha at 7:34 AM on January 11, 2011


Fabulous link JPD. Thanks.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 7:38 AM on January 11, 2011


I think that narrator was trying a little too hard to channel the voiceover in A Christmas Story.
posted by hellbient at 7:41 AM on January 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Your favorite local tv personality sucks, etc. Eric's Little Heroes is actually pretty consistently great, especially when it documents the kids who are more interested in mud puddles, boogers, or anything but the sport they're supposed to be playing. Example.
posted by Balonious Assault at 7:43 AM on January 11, 2011


As others have said, his jump shot is not going to cut it in a real game. You won't even really know how good of a shooter he is for a few years.

As for his size, I felt bad for him when I saw his dad. Spud Webb, Mugsy Bogues, yes these guys were short but they were incredibly quick and athletic. Sure, he has time to grow but he better hurry up, he doesn't have long before he is in high school getting dunked on.

The KOMO 4 scouts made the trip to this gym but the NBA scouts are nowhere to be seen. They found a 6' 6" 12 year old who hit a growth spurt early and they have six years to teach him dribbling drills.
posted by solmyjuice at 7:52 AM on January 11, 2011


He's got showy handles, but it would be nice to see him actually play a full court game. He'd never beat me, but I'm way taller than him and it would be pretty easy to guard him. He's still a kid. He's got decent vision in those 2-on-2 games though. Not bad.
posted by cashman at 8:07 AM on January 11, 2011


Am I the only one here who was just as transfixed by the "little heroes" transition, which shoes a small kid RIDING A BUCKING SHEEP? I had no idea that you could ride bucking sheep. I had no idea there was videos of kids riding bucking sheep.

Yes, the kid is very good. I liked the announcer--he was just enthusiastic enough for a story about kids.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 8:19 AM on January 11, 2011


This video shows why I like the announcer--he tones it down when he needs to--and also has a clip of the sheep-bucking. It includes yo-yos, a slightly eccentric softball coach, a TINY football player (like, think age 4), a two-year-old golfer with a club/hockey stick as big as he is, a (legally) blind gymnast, a William Tell moment, and yes, Jordan playing basketball.

Man is it easy to accidentally write sheep-fucking instead...
posted by flibbertigibbet at 8:24 AM on January 11, 2011


I'm wondering....will this kid break or bite my ankles first?
posted by srboisvert at 8:24 AM on January 11, 2011


As for his size, I felt bad for him when I saw his dad

Has anyone seen the other side of his gene pool? Maybe she's tall.

The kid is phenomenal but like someone mentioned earlier, you could find dozens his age on probably any larger "urban" area basketball court. Hope the dad isn't planning to bank on some unspoken racial angle. Also, is anybody but me wondering how much speed Ritalin that kid must be on?

The KOMO 4 scouts made the trip to this gym

But the length of the video seemed excessive given the topic. Must have been a slow news day in Seattle.
posted by fuse theorem at 8:45 AM on January 11, 2011


It would be hillarious to watch him play with kids his own age. His passes would just fly around randomly to since his teammates are going to need a lot of eye contact to realize that a pass might be coming their way.
posted by I Foody at 8:53 AM on January 11, 2011


But any 12 year old who works hard enough to do what he's doing is going to get along in life.

I guess, like Todd Marinovich.
posted by philip-random at 8:59 AM on January 11, 2011


Meh. Those two-ball dribbling drills are standard. I could never dribble like that, but there were always 3 or 4 kids who could at basketball camp. And I wasn't at basketball camp with future NBA players.

And fancy dribbling is probably one of the least important skills in basketball. Quick, who's the best dribbler in the NBA?
posted by callmejay at 9:51 AM on January 11, 2011


Quick, who's the best dribbler in the NBA?

Steve Nash, with Chris Paul close behind (and I say this as a raging Hornets fan).

I think a lot of people here are undervaluing handles. There's a reason why people do the drills as exercises; it makes them better dribblers. I've seen Mike Conley (starting guard for the Memphis Grizzlies) do his dribbling exercises, and this kid is better than him (its possible being lower to the floor makes it easier, but this balanced by the fact that his hands are waay smaller than Conley's). This is all the more important for a shorter player who likely be a guard and have the rock in his hand a ton. Having great handles is arguably more important than shooting skill for small guards, from Allen Iverson, to Tony Parker, to Chris Paul, to Russell Westbrook, to Rajon Rondo. I could go on for quite a while listing short (under 6'2) guards with below-average field goal percentages from 15 feet out who are currently All-Star caliber players in the NBA. More realistically, players like Muggsy Bogues, Earl Boykins, and Ty Lawson were / are perfectly servicable guards standing at under 5'11.

As others have pointed out, his shooting form is not fair to evaluate right now, since he's physically immature. But really, having handles like that at his age, as long as he keeps his showboating in check (Jason Williams was the most entertaining baller I've ever seen live, but only when he pulled it all back and focused on his role did he win a title with Miami) is uncommon. I genuinely doubt that there are dozens of kids wandering around with his sorts of dribbling skills, my cousin is 11 and has been in youth leagues for several years now, and I've watched a bunch of games in his league when I visit. No one I've seen comes remotely close, and talent is easy to pick out in these things.
posted by shen1138 at 10:47 AM on January 11, 2011


On reflection, its true that several of the guards I listed are also lightning bug fast, so I agree with the above that if he doesn't also have quickness, then his dribbling skills become less useful going forward unless he grows to be a bit taller than 6 foot. Not everyone can be Earl Boykins (slow and short yet scoring 18 a game when he starts).
posted by shen1138 at 11:01 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


To put things in perspective: Jordan has a year to catch up with this kid - 6'6", coordinated, can handle the ball.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:02 AM on January 11, 2011


I Foody: "It would be hillarious to watch him play with kids his own age. His passes would just fly around randomly to since his teammates are going to need a lot of eye contact to realize that a pass might be coming their way"

Boom! Head shot!
posted by bwg at 4:25 PM on January 11, 2011


Saw this the other day...first thing I thought was: "Hey, son, Calipari's here with a sack of cash."
posted by rhythim at 6:44 PM on January 11, 2011


>To put things in perspective: Jordan has a year to catch up with this kid - 6'6", coordinated, can handle the ball.

Nice to finally see video of Ender's Game. *rimshot*
posted by SpaceBass at 7:22 PM on January 11, 2011


I don't watch basketball but there are 30 teams with 12 roster spots on each, correct? So that means at any one time there are 360 active players.

He might be able to play DI eventually, where I imagine there are more like 4,500 active players at any one time, but the odds still seem incredibly small.
posted by zephyr_words at 10:22 PM on January 11, 2011


single-link ... komo news?

If all goes well, he could be in the NBA in six or seven years.

I would make a very large bet against that. Division I maybe, but we've all played against guys like this. The NBA is another level. Barring a massive leap in talent (or size), no way. He's not quick enough.

All those cuh-razy, mind-blowing dribbling moves are . . . dribbling drills. That you learn at basketball camp. If this dude went to Indiana for a weekend in the summer and entered a high school gym -

I'm now thinking we've been punk'd or something. This kid looks like ME at 12! I could dribble and shoot like a globetrotter, but I was too short and too slow ... hey, just like Jordan McCabe!

Why is there no in-game video of Jordan McCabe? Does he even play in games? Here, his backcourt mate looks about as good as he is.

Andrew Wiggins, 13 years old. (Oh hi, AHWO!)

It took me about 2 minutes to find him on YouTube.

Would you prefer Jordan McCabe or Andrew Wiggins on your high school team?

12-year-old Jordan McCabe will kick your ass on the basketball court

It would be close, but I got a serious size advantage now.

Jaylin Fleming is 10.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:31 AM on January 12, 2011


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