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Greatness Rising

We know next to nothing about soccer, and we have no idea how good
14-year-old prodigy Freddy Adu, who signed with Major League Soccer, actually
is, but it's really interesting to compare how he has dealt with his situation
vs. how LeBron James dealt with his.

James, who got fairly arrogant at the end of his high school tenure,
alienated a lot of people, though he seems to have learned from his
mistakes. Adu, by contrast, is
a kid anyone could love.
He's humble, funny, lights up a room, and very
impressively, is a high school senior. At 14. He's a guy who could
easily have an academic scholarship to pretty much any school in the country,
who could be in law or med school at 19 or 20.

How many elite athletes in any sport can say that?

We'd still have serious qualms about his hanging out with pro athletes at 14
were we his mom, but Adu is a very impressive kid. We wish him every
success in soccer - apparently he's very much the real deal - but we also hope
at some point he fulfills his academic potential.

George Vecsey
has a column up on Adu,
and as usual, it's worth reading. Mark Noonan, who
played for Duke's 1986 national soccer team, is quoted here.

This is just a guess, but if Tiger Woods is the next Michael Jordan, as some
believe, then Adu could be the next Tiger. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.