One of the reasons why Americans love sports isn’t just for the competition and raw athleticism but because it allows them to root for the underdog, be apart of the unthinkable and witness miracles. Seeing success for the underdog gives the rest of us hope that if they can achieve the near impossible, so can we. We love to identify with the them because it makes us feel better about ourselves and gives us hope. This is where Jeremy Lin comes in, our new American hero.
It’s no surprise that America’s newest hero is the ultimate underdog, Jeremy Lin. Businessweek recently wrote an article on Jeremy Lin and how he achieved the impossible and I think they’re dead on. It doesn’t take a sports genius to know that very few Asians make it to the NBA let alone ones who graduated from Harvard, a university not know for it athletics. In fact, according to the article, “The last time an NBA player was recruited from Harvard was 1954.” This shows that Lin was not just an ordinary athlete, but someone who was destined to go somewhere.
I’m embarrassed to admit that the PAC-10 was the first to tell him that as far as he could get with a career in basketball would be a college walk-on. But Jeremy Lin didn’t take no for an answer. Those reasons weren’t big enough to stop him from pursing his dream. That’s how he ended up at Harvard. Then having a mediocre experience with the Golden State Warriors followed by time spent playing in the D-League. For two years, he was bouncing back and forth between the D-League and professional teams, never knowing when, if ever, he was ever going to settle in with one team. Finally, his big break came on January 20 when he had a triple-double, scoring 28 points. It only took the Knicks three days after that to give him another shot in the pros, and aren’t we glad they did.
As a result, Lin is our new American hero. Not only did his perseverance and determination keep him playing through a roller-coaster journey, but also has made him a starter for the New York Knicks. In our eyes, Lin came out of no-where and surprised the country with his talent and wow-factor that created the “Linsanity” trend, a phrase that has instantly boosted his personal brand.
Let this be a lesson to athletes trying to make it into the pros. Don’t take no for an answer. If you keep preserving and have the burning desire to accomplish your goals, with time, you’ll get what you’re looking for.