Jeremy Lin

I admit it.  I’m a sucker for a great sports story and in my opinion, New York Knicks basketball player Jeremy Lin is the sports story of 2012.

In just his second season, he’s set the NBA alight, recently winning the Eastern Conference player of the week and breaking Shaquille O’Neal’s NBA record for points scored in his first 5 games as a starter.  He topped off his meteoric rise with the game winning three pointer this week against Toronto with 0.5 seconds left on the clock.

So who is Jeremy Lin and why is he so inspirational?

Of Taiwanese descent, Lin was born in California and was a star basketball player in high school, leading his school to a 32-1 record in his senior year.  Despite his stellar numbers, he wasn’t offered a college basketball scholarship, so he chose to attend Harvard, a college that hasn’t produced an NBA player since 1954.

Lin went undrafted after completing college and ended up being signed by his home-town Golden State Warriors, where after moving to and from the Developmental League, he had an undistinguished rookie season.

He was cut from the Warriors after one season and bounced through Houston before being signed by the Knicks.  Even then, for the first 23 games of the season, he only played 55 minutes and was on the cusp of being cut from the team.

Then everything changed.

Injuries to the players in front of him and a timely half-time recommendation to the coach from star player Carmelo Anthony resulted in an increase in minutes and Lin scored 25 points off the bench against the New Jersey Nets.

He started the next game against Utah and hasn’t looked back.  Six consecutive wins for his team despite injuries to their star players, 38 points against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers and he’s captured the imagination of sports fans everywhere.

I’m inspired by Jeremy Lin because he reminds us that:

  • you don’t have the fit the mold or copy everyone else to be successful.
  • there’s no such thing as an overnight success. He worked hard for years before finally getting a chance.
  • when you get an opportunity, don’t hesitate, but grab it with both hands and make the most of it.
  • winning matters.  He’s not just posting big numbers on a losing team, he’s finding a way to help them win.
  • it’s important to have a back-up plan.  Even if his career in the NBA didn’t work out, he still has an economics degree from Harvard and would like to be a pastor in the future.  Whatever you choose to do with your life, it’s always good to have a plan b (or c).

According to my ABC of Success, you need a great attitude, to display the correct behaviours and to do so consistently.  He’s certainly got the first two boxes ticked and I’m looking forward to seeing if he can continue to perform at such a high level in the long-term.

In the mean-time, as a basketball fan, I’m going to sit back and enjoy the “Linsanity.”

What do you find inspiring about Jeremy Lin?

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