Local 5-year-old is a rising basketball star

November 26, 2008 7:30:17 PM PST
A rising sports star in San Leandro has been seen around the world because of her skill in basketball. What makes this young person so different, though, is that she's only in kindergarten.

They say that to do well in basketball, a player needs maturity and height, but in Oakland on Wednesday morning, ABC7 found an exception to that rule.

"We've never seen a kid so young, so focused, with such ability," said Lou Ritchie, a basketball coach.

By now, you may have seen the YouTube video of Milan Tuttle from San Leandro. Her coach, Lou Richie, put it up as a promotion. A few hits became a few thousand, and on November 21st, she had the number one watched video on the world. That's two million hits, watching a 5-year-old who dribbles basketballs as easily as others, her age, still dribble their food.

"Well I really encourage my children to do what their hearts tell them to do," said Renee Tuttle, Milan's mother.

In Milan's case, that's simple.

"I get to play around and shoot hoops," said Milan.

Normally, she practices with ten year olds. Today, her coaches set her on the varsity at Bishop O'Dowd High School.

Intimidation wasn't a factor. Basketball already ran in the family. Milan's dad and sister played, so she picked the game up. Apparently, it never occurred to her that dribbling two, or even three or four balls at once, might be difficult.

"Milan is an incredible ball handler. She can handle the ball with the best of them, and what she's shown today is that she can handle the ball with girls 13, 14, 15 years of age," said Ritchie.

And she's encouraged by all of this worldwide attention. Her goal is a WNBA star, as if the internet wasn't already enough.


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