Reece Whitley Named To Young Futurists of 2018 List

reece whitley
Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Swimming World Magazine high school swimmer of the year and Cal commit Reece Whitley was named to the Young Futurists list of 2018 by The Root staff. The list consists of 25 African-Americans between the ages of 15 and 22, who are “brilliant and inspirational leaders who are already charting their own paths in the worlds of business, science and tech, the arts, social justice and the environment.”

Whitley, who fit the category “Arts and Culture” is 18 years of age out of Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania. He is coming off a summer where he won two silver medals in the 100 and 200 breast at the 2017 FINA World Junior Championships. He also swam the breaststroke leg on the winning 4×100 medley relay team for Team USA and was nominated captain for the trip.

Rowdy Gaines has indicated to The New York Times that Whitley is going to be “the best breaststroker in the world.” In 2015, Whitley was also named Sports Kid of the Year by Sports Illustrated.

If Whitley lives up to the hype, he will be 20 by the time the 2020 Olympic Trials roll around, and he could be the first African-American male swimmer to make the United States Olympic Team since Cullen Jones in 2012. According to USA Swimming, “64 percent of black children have low- to no swimming abilities.”

Whitley recognizes he can be an inspiration to young African-American swimmers if he succeeds, but clearly he is already doing a good job at inspiring today’s youth with his story.

To read the full list of who was nominated by The Root, click here.

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