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The Next Generation: A Youthful Shift Among Professional Sports

By Aayan Ahmed and Sahir Bhatia

As the world of sports continues to evolve, many students have noticed the increase of young athletes in professional sports. Across all sports, from football to tennis, young athletes are making themselves known. Some examples of young athletes making big waves are tennis star and recent U.S. Open Champion Coco Gauff, English soccer star Jude Bellingham and the French basketball prospect, Victor Wembanyana. Many NHP students view this generational shift in professional sports as indicative of a continued legacy by current and former professional athletes.

“That generational shift is what makes sports so great,” NHP athletic director Mr. Maguire said. “No one thought they would ever see a better quarterback/winner then Joe Montana but along came Tom Brady. Same with Michael Jordan then LeBron James. All those athletes you mentioned; Coco Gauff, Ben Shelton, Elly DeLaCruz, and Victor Wembanyana are just starting their professional careers. But I'll be watching to see if someday we can mention them in the same breath as Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Derek Jeter and Tim Duncan.”

Nineteen-year-old Coco Gauff has quickly risen up the ranks of professional tennis, becoming the third highest ranked player on the women’s tour. Last month, she won the U.S. Open, one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world. Many believe young athletes such as Gauff serve as inspiration for the children and teens of today, including students at New Hyde Park Memorial.

Source by Guneet Hanjra

Many students and faculty are noticing and are intrigued by the youthful shift in professional sports.

“Seeing someone just a few years older than us succeeding at such a high level has shown me what’s possible if you set your mind to it and work hard,” junior Vir Sethi said.

Another example can be seen in 20-year-old Jude Bellingham, a young English soccer star. Many fans have noticed Bellingham's standout performance in the Spanish soccer league since transferring to Real Madrid. He has recorded 6 goals and 2 assists in just his first 7 appearances for Madrid.

“I see it in a lot of our student athletes," English chairperson Mr. Otton said. "When they're in season, wearing their uniforms on game day, they carry themselves differently. The second thing is how they handle adversity. If they can learn from their mistakes and use them to improve over time, they'll be successful."

Some believe that almost all successful athletes have a determined and strong work ethic. Many feel that these young athletes have future potential given their early success. In this past NBA season, many basketball fans noticed a generational shift among the players, as 3 out of 5 players selected to the All NBA first team were under 25 years old.

"Having been a sports fan as long as I have, I think seeing the next generation of potentially impactful athletes is exciting, but also just the standard as time goes on," math teacher Mr. Brusca said. "Whether it is the NBA, MLB, NHL, or NFL, every few years it seems that the previous generation of superstars start to phase out, and the next generation of superstars get phased in/drafted/signed."

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