Getting into the Game
Allonzo Trier, a sixth grader in Federal Way, outside Seattle, is the most recent Future of the N.B.A.  Photo: Lauren Greenfield for The New York Times.

Allonzo Trier, 13, a sixth grader in Federal Way, outside Seattle, is profiled by Michael Sokolove in the March 22 issue of The New York Times Magazine. (Photo: Lauren Greenfield for The New York Times. Courtesy of The New York Times Magazine.)

Allonzo Trier is one hundred and ten pounds, five-foot-five, 13 years old, and — right behind March Madness and the NBA home stretch — the talk of the American basketball world.

He’s scouted, ranked — number one for his age in the country — is flown all over, has a famous nickname (“Zo”), has his own line of clothing, is spoken of as the next LeBron James or Allen Iverson.

And he is, to repeat, 13.

His story tells us a lot about what’s going on with “must-go-pro” fever at incredibly young ages in elite American basketball.

This hour, On Point: The story of Allonzo Trier.

You can join the conversation. How young is too young to be locked-in on dreams of the NBA? Or is it never too early for hoop dreams?


From Washington we’re joined by Michael Sokolove, contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and a big voice on the sociology and culture of sports. His remarkable cover story in Sunday’s issue of the magazine is “Allonzo Trier Is in the Game.” He’s also the author of “Warrior Girls: Protecting Our Daughters Against the Injury Epidemic in Sports.”

From Philadelphia, we’re joined by Phil Martelli, head coach of the St. Joseph’s University men’s basketball team. He was NCAA Coach of the Year in 2004.

Joining us from Louisville, Kentucky, is Clark Francis, editor and publisher of Hoop Scoop Online, which ranks top young basketball prospects.

And later in the hour, we’ll be joined by Tim Layden, senior writer for Sports Illustrated, for an update on how this year’s NCAA tournament is shaping up.

Here’s a YouTube video of Allonzo Trier in action, from HoopsReport:

Last summer we talked with the Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch about his basketball documentary “Gunnin’ for that #1 Spot.”

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Nov 26, 2015
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