In the City of Brotherly Love, one young baller, who hasn't even entered high school is causing a big ruckus. Um, it might be time to get Jay on the phone.
"After all, it's easy to crown any talented preteen a "phenom." First, a small website calls a sixth, seventh or eighth-grader freakishly talented and predicts he will "blow up." A YouTube clip -- or two or three -- leak out, and other blogs and sites catch on (maybe even a smaller newspaper) echoing those sentiments and adding in phrases like "whispers of greatness" and "huge upside and potential." Finally, word of a preternaturally talented man-child reaches the mainstream media, and outlets rush in to stake their claim on the player's discovery trail. One might even go so far as to use a familiar, uber-famous name in the headline (check out the one above).
Sometimes the "phenoming" process can elevate those who probably don't belong there. Other times it sets off a flurry of attention that never truly subsides, serving as a prologue to a long stay in high-profile sports and, sometimes, the pop culture subconscious (see under LeBron James, Tyreke Evans and John Wall). It seems fair to assume that the hype surrounding Spencer III is likely of the latter variety. As profiled by the Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey, among others, Spencer is a 6-foot-8 eighth-grader with immense athleticism, wingspan and size 17 shoes that -- brace for it -- offer up whispers of a 7-foot future. And all of that foretells of great things in Spencer's future." - Cameron Smith