That's where these seven teenagers are now. They stand at the verge of
greatness, loaded with promise, and yet nothing about their professional
futures--not titles, not riches, not fame--is promised to them. Obstacles can
arise; distractions can crop up; injuries can impede progress. And the toughest
part? "Waiting to see what happens next year," says Michael Main, a
17-year-old pitcher with a 99-mph fastball. "I don't want to fast forward
or slow down, but I'm starting to get a little anxious." � So much can
change. A.J. Green wasn't even interested in football three years ago. "Now
it's my favorite sport," says the 16-year-old wideout. "The people and
the energy of the game. I love the whole picture." That passion will be
vital if these teens are to succeed at the highest levels of sport. "I can
improve on everything," says 15-year-old hockey center John Tavares. And
he'll have to. � In setting an ETA for each of these players to reach the
biggest stage, SI is assuming a smooth and upward career arc, hopeful that
someday in these pages, long after their glory days have passed, we'll be
asking, Where are they now?
16 ? GUARD,
consensus top recruit in the class of '08, Evans averaged 25.4 points, 8.0
rebounds, 5.3 assists and 3.8 steals while playing both guard positions as a
sophomore last season at American Christian School.
Tracy McGrady. Though Evans, at 6'5" and 206 pounds, is three inches
shorter than the Houston Rockets' swingman, he's similarly smooth. McGrady,
says Evans, "can do it all. He reminds me of me."
"Tyreke makes the game look so easy, and he has the ability to rise to the
occasion," says Jim Peper. "He played a lot at the point last year, but
I think his best position is at the two. He has incredible range and a very
quick first step, so he's most effective on the perimeter."
ETA In the NBA by
2009. Though many experts believe Evans would be ready to turn pro out of high
school--if that were still allowed--he's likely to spend a year at North
Carolina, UConn or Villanova.
16 ? GOLFER,
North Dartmouth, Mass.
ranked No. 1 in the world junior ratings by Golfweek after a 2005 season in
which he won three national tournaments, finished in the top five in nine of
his 16 events and was named the American Junior Golf Association's boys' player
of the year. Uihlein (pronounced YOO-line) is the third youngest player to win