David-Sills
As big-time scouts keep going younger and younger to find future athletic stars, pro and college sports are starting to get on that To Catch a Predator steez. The latest example is renegade USC coach Lane Kiffin and his recruitment of 13-year-old QB David Sills; lil' homie just grew pubes and he's already committed himself to a university. Damn, can't he finish 7th grade first??? History has shown that sports prodigies, much like child TV stars, either fulfill their potential and become legitimate talents or end up on the Diff'rent Strokes road to Fucked-up Land. We hope the best for Sills, but he may not be so confident after reading our brief history of sports prodigies...

Freddy Adu
SPORT: Soccer, D.C. United of MLS
AGE TURNED PRO: 14
RESULT: Beckham signed with Manchester United at age 14, and we all know what happened to him. But that's England. A better point of comparison would be young Ghanian-American Freddy Adu, who inked a deal with D.C. United at age 14. In his first pro season, Adu scored five goals and three assists while featuring in all 30 games, including D.C.'s MLS Cup victory. In 2006 he was traded to Real Salt Lake, but the very next season his contract was bought out by the Portuguese club S.L. Benfica. Since then, he's bounced between a few European teams without really making his mark, and has yet failed to make an impression on the national level with the U.S. senior squad. To be honest, Adu might still be best known for smashing JoJo. Allegedly.

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beverly-klass

Beverly Klass
SPORT: Golf
AGE TURNED PRO: 9
RESULT: Klass won 25 amateur tournaments before her dad convinced her to join the big girls of the LPGA at the age of 9. Klass showed some sparks of greatness but began to lose interest in the sport, and as a result received beatings from her father. (We smell a biopic starring Hillary Swank.) After 12 seasons in the LPGA with no wins (and two second-place finishes), Klass retired in 1988. Dominating the amateurs is one thing, but the pro game is a whole 'nother level. We're looking at you, Katie Kox.

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Alberto-'Baby'-Arizmendi

Alberto "Baby" Arizmendi
SPORT: Boxing
AGE TURNED PRO: 13
RESULT: Arizmendi started his boxing career as a young teen and went on to have a career record of 71-26. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2004. Sadly—but somewhat predictably—he only lived to see age 49. Taking shots like this before hitting puberty will do that to you.

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Ricky Rubio
SPORT: Basketball, DKV Joventut of the Spanish ACB League
AGE TURNED PRO: 13
RESULT: Euros like finding their young boys early, as was the case with Joventut and PG sensation Rubio. After plying his trade as a teenager, Rubio eventually won the FIBA EuroCup championship with Joventut and the Mr. Europa award (pause?) in '08. The following year, Rubio was drafted fifth overall by the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves. Rubio was still under contract with Joventut at the time, and chose to stay with his boyhood club rather than lose the approximate $7 million left on his contract. Rubio's contract with Joventut was eventually bought out by Barcelona but he has the option to join the NBA after the 2010-11 season. Mark our words: He's gonna suck.

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Ryan Sheckler
SPORT: Pro skateboarding
AGE TURNED PRO: 13
RESULT: Sheckler turned pro after winning in the X Games, Gravity Games, Vans Triple Crown, and Slam City Jam. Since then he was named the 2004-05 World Cup of Skateboarding's National Street Champion and won the title of AST Dew Tour Athlete of the Year in 2005. Sheckler's skating career has brought him his own MTV reality show; sponsorships from Volcom clothing, Plan B skateboards and Oakley Eyewear; and shitloads upon shitloads of hate. Well keep hating, haters!

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Michelle Wie
SPORT: Golf
AGE TURNED PRO: 16
RESULT: Jury's still out on Ms. Wie, but we can confirm that on the day she officially turned pro in 2005, she immediately caked out on multi-million dollar deals with Sony and Nike. Bong! She looks better every year, too. Incidentally.

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Victor De Leon III, a.k.a. Lil Poison
SPORT: Video Games
AGE TURNED PRO: 6
RESULT: Known for his Halo skills, "Lil Poison" became the youngest-ever pro gamer when he signed to Major League Gaming (MLG) at age 6 in 2004. He was named MLG breakout player of the year in 2005 and finished third out of 3,500 gamers at the 1vs1 Boost Mobile Challenge in 2007. So what if he'll be crippled by carpal tunnel syndrome before puberty? We kid, we kid. Good luck, "Lil Poison."

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young-bobby-fischer

Bobby Fischer
SPORT: Chess
AGE TURNED PRO: 15
RESULT: Fischer became the youngest grandmaster in history at 15 years and six months. The highlight of his career came in 1972, when he beat Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union to become the World Champion of Chess. After forfeiting his title in 1975, Fischer slipped into seclusion until 1992, when he emerged to beat Spassky again in a rematch. Which would have been all gravy, 'cept for the fact that it was played in Yugoslavia, which was then under a strict U.N. embargo. Fischer was subsequently exiled from the U.S. and forced to live the rest of his life as a fugitive. He later became notorious for anti-Semitic remarks and controversial commentary on the 9/11 attacks, and died in 2008. Sigh. Searching for Bobby Fischer, still a great movie.

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Amobi Okoye
SPORT: Football, University of Louisville
AGE TURNED PRO: 15
RESULT: Nigerian immigrant and academic standout Okoye chose Louisville over Harvard when he committed as a teenager. As a Cardinal, Okoye earned second team All-American honors and first team All-Big East honors. At the 2007 NFL Draft, he was picked tenth overall by the Houston Texans and in 2009 totaled 26 tackles while starting in every game. But the coolest part of this whole story? Homie apparently learned the rules of football from playing Madden. Fuck a Blind Side, we wanna see a movie about this dude.

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BrienTaylor

Brien Taylor
SPORT: Baseball, New York Yankees
AGE TURNED PRO: 19
RESULT: Drafted by the Yankees first overall in 1991, Taylor signed a $1.55-million minor-league contract and was hailed as a "can't-miss" prospect. In December of 1993, Taylor dislocated his left shoulder and tore his labrum while defending his brother in a fight. The injury changed his career as a pitcher forever: After posting a 14.33 ERA in the minors, the Yankees dropped him in 1998. Taylor then went through the Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians farm systems before ending his career altogether in 2000. He now works as a bricklayer and lives with his parents. We normally clap when the Yanks take an L, but that just sucks all-around.

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