Michael Jordan’s first NBA start was a 32-point explosion (10-11 FGs) in an exhibition game in St. Louis against the Kansas City Kings in the fall of 1984.
Tiger Woods first PGA TOUR event as a professional was the 1996 Greater Milwaukee Open. He shot 67-69-73-68 and recorded a hole-in-one.
Not all debuts are as splashy. In fact, difficult starts are more the norm.
Iowa State’s football team had 11 first-time college starters in Saturday’s opener vs. Northern Iowa. The list included Daniel Burton (OG), Tad Ecby (WR), Justin Coleman (WR) and Jamison Lalk (OG) on offense. The starting debuts on defense included Jared Brackens (LB), David Irving (DT), Brandon Jensen (NG), Jevohn Miller (LB), Cory Morrissey (DE), Charlie Rogers (CB) and Sam Richardson (CB).
No school in the Big 12 had more first-time starters in their lineup last week.
Kansas State and West Virginia had the second most with 8 apiece. Interestingly, the Cyclones, K-State and WVU all played FCS schools in the opener. The Cyclones and Wildcats suffered surprising losses and the Mountaineers escaped with a close call.
The number of first-time college starters for the other Big 12 schools were as follows: Oklahoma (7), Baylor (7), Texas Tech (6), Oklahoma State (6), TCU (4) and Texas (3). Kansas opens the season this weekend.
Youth, of course, means inexperience.
Former Marquette basketball coach Al McGuire famously said that the best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores.
He must not have witnessed too many debuts like Jordan and Woods. Few have, of course.