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Date Posted: 12:56:18 12/23/17 Sat
Spencer Freedman aspires to do something different with his life than the other elite players in the 45th annual Culligan City of Palms Classic.
Freedman wants to become President of the United States.
Freedman, 19 and a senior guard for the Santa Ana (California) Mater Dei High School basketball team, has proven to be one of the best 3-point shooters in this year’s Classic, winning the 3-point shootout Wednesday and averaging 20 points per game in three games. But Freedman’s 6-foot-1 frame and lack of high-flying athleticism make him a longshot to play in the NBA, he said.
“I’m not sure it would happen as soon as I would like it to,” Freedman said of becoming President. “But I really do want to. Living in America, we’re so lucky. We have so many opportunities that others don’t have. I want to help people get better. I want to overall make the world a better place.”
Born June 24, 1998, the soonest Freedman could run for president would be the 2036 election, the first one scheduled after his 35th birthday in 2033.
“I just hope I’m alive to see it,” said Mater Dei coach Gary McKnight, 65. “That would put me at 84. He has a great way of connecting with people. All people. Not just the basketball players but the entire student body.”
Players shot for the top spot in the Three-point shooting contest that was part of the City of Palms Classic, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. The winner was Spencer Freedman, Mater Dei, beating out Jordan McCabe, Kaukauna, Wisc. Teddy Dupay, 38, Former Mariner HS player, was also on hand to give a try at the competition and judge the Slam Dunk Contest.
While the idea of President Freedman may sound far-fetched, he carries a 4.2 grade-point average and will be attending Harvard University, which has produced seven presidents, more than any other university, ahead of Yale’s five. Most of Harvard’s presidents made major impacts over the course of our country’s history. They are, in chronological order: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, George W. Bush (who also has a degree from Yale) and Barack Obama.
When asked about President Donald Trump, Freedman did what skilled politicians do. He didn’t answer the question. He steered the conversation in another direction.
“I’ve been looking more at previous presidencies,” Freedman said. “I’ve been looking as far back as George Washington and John Adams and working my way up. I feel like learning about the past is the best way to learn about the future.”
Freedman, who has dark, curly hair and could become the first Jewish president, had multiple basketball recruiting offers. USC, Washington, Rice, UC-Santa Barbara, Princeton, Yale and other Ivy League schools recruited him. Harvard, however, ranked first for him all along both for his basketball and his presidential aspirations.
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