By: Brady Daylor (Sports Correspondent)
With a 15-year old tennis sensation stealing the spotlight and 19 young NBA stars entering the league, fans are left wondering if professionals are too young.
Superstars like 42-year old Tom Brady, 37-year old Serena Williams, and 34-year old Lebron James are considered the top players in their respective sports, but now, more than ever, there are young stars making names for themselves.
15-year old tennis star Coco Gauff came onto the scene in July at Wimbledon where she stunned the crowd with her qualifying rounds run.
Freshman Matthew Keshkeian says that Gauff has had a stellar beginning so far. “She’s doing very well and there is no reason she shouldn’t play professionally since she can beat other top tier experienced players,” Keshkeian said.
Gauff had no trouble against older more experienced tennis players as she cruised past Venus Williams. She continued her streak into the fourth round where she fell to Simona Halep, then the soon-to-be Wimbledon champion.
At the US Open, she rallied all the way to the third round where she was taken down by first ranked worldwide Naomi Osaka. She also made it to the third round in Women’s Doubles where she paired up with another young star, 17-year old Catherine McNally. They lost to Victoria Azarenka and Ashleigh Barty, who later won the tournament.
Young stars are revolutionizing more than tennis. Basketball stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Devin Booker, and Kobe Bryant were all drafted when they were 18 and they are considered some of the best in the game (Bryant is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all-time). Also, the Buffalo Bills selected 19-year old Tremaine Edmunds in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft. He was the youngest player ever to be drafted in the first round.
Furthermore, 22-year old Daniel Jones was a first-round draft pick and has a starting job over 38-year old veteran and two time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning. Juan Soto, a 20-year old MLB prospect, has a .294 batting average, and 20-year old Fernando Tatis Jr. has a .326 batting average in 334 at-bats, proving that these young stars are off to a great start at a young age.
Freshman Miguel Vasconcelos says that players in all professional leagues are not too young. “If they have made it to the professional league, then they are talented and there is no reason that age should stop them from succeeding,” Vasconcelos said.
Not all fans are on board with some of these high school athletes skipping college to go right to the league.
Sophomore Ben Levinson said he disapproves of the fast track some of these young players are taking by prioritizing sports rather than education, “Professional athletes should be forced to go to college and play in college” Levinson said.
“Their professional athletic careers might not work out, so they will have another career to fall back on to,” Levinson concluded.