Maybe Jeremy Lin Can Help My Kids Be Basketball Stars

Trading cards from my kids' short-lived basketball careers

 

I’ve been watching the LINsanity for past few weeks with a mixture of awe, pride, and slight apprehension. Like myself, Jeremy Lin is a product of Silicon Valley, the child of engineers, and a second generation Taiwanese American.

My own sons played basketball at the Y a few years ago. This particular facility had a full-size gym with cinderblock walls which thundered with each rebound. Full-grown men hovered in the hallways, waiting for the Little Hoopsters to finish, so they could have their turn. Overwhelming for a kid, to say the least.

Last year, Jeremy Lin hosted a meet and greet with the Bay AreaTaiwanese American community, when he was playing with the Golden State Warriors. Our family doesn’t follow the NBA much, and even our kids don’t play basketball anymore, so we skipped it. We missed out.

Since we live on the West Coast and don’t get ESPN at home, we haven’t been watching the Knicks games. It might actually be worth it to take the family out to a sports bar to see the Super Lintendo first-hand.

My boys probably won’t pursue basketball to the professional level (you think?), but I’m still so excited to see Lin breaking records — and stereotypes. Unfortunately not everyone thinks so. There seems to be an undercurrent of racist remarks based on outdated stereotypes and “Orientalization” of this American-born, Ivy League grad from Palo Alto. Thankfully, the derogatory tweets and commentary — such as Madison Square Garden’s fortune cookie graphic — are far outweighed by the positive.

Lin himself has been classy, gracious, and humble about the whole thing. A public Christian who actually walks the walk. And I don’t think God likes racists.

Read more about how Linsanity strikes a very personal chord for me in my piece Jeremy Lin: What He Means to Asians, Athletes and Dreamers on BlogHer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. says

    Your little guys are SO cute! And who knows, maybe they’ll be basketball players one day. :) As for the fortune cookie incident, I picked up on it this morning, too, and wrote a piece about it. I put it on my FB page and some people don’t think it’s a big deal — as my Asian friend says, “They probably have never experienced racism.”

  2. says

    Isaac is still too little to be playing sports (though he’s got a mean kick so I’m thinking he might be into soccer) but I do hope that someone like Jeremy Lin can inspire him to pursue a sport, professionally or for fun, or to be anything he chooses to be!

  3. says

    “LINsanity” and “Super Lintendo,” I love that Grace! And your little boys are just adorable!!!!

    By the way, my husband, who is NOT a real big sports fan, came to educate me about Jeremy Lin. But I had the great pleasure of telling him that I had already learned about this young gentleman through reading your blog. Also, my son-in-law, a sports writer, and former Sports Editor for Freemont’s Tri-City Voice (now closed), has been very closely watching Mr. Lin’s present heroic.

    We are rooting for him!

    ~Virginia

  4. says

    I guess we’ll see.

    Certainly Vancouver and Toronto is going nuts whenever he’s playing. (Those cities now have at least 25% Asians and more in some of their suburbs for the local demographic population.)

    • says

      That’s interesting, Jean, since Vancouver and Toronto are nowhere near New York. I’ve been wondering if non-Asians are as excited about Jeremy Lin or if the novelty is wearing off. I hope that the combination of being an excellent player, a racial trailblazer, and a genuine person will carry him far.

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