Since Monday midnight, rumor of Houston Rockets have made Jeremy Lin available for trade were widely circulated as the Rockets coaxed Dwight Howard to sign in to the team. Later that evening, Lin spoke with members of the military on Google Plus, during which his words remained composed and positive, to thank them for their selfless service to this nation.
In the Google Plus hangout organized by Veterans United Network, Lin gave his best advice for on and off the court, spoke of his faith for overcoming challenging times, his role models on and off the court, being a Christian in the NBA, advice to someone who’s picked last or feels other doubting him, and his experience of Linsanity, where he went from rags to riches.
The military members also expressed their appreciation for Lin’s living out the value systems that are worth emulating and for being a positive role model for both the young and old. In response, Lin said that part of the reason why he wanted to have this conversation on Google Plus with military members is to express his gratitude for their works that are much more important than basketball.
Best Advice On and Off the Court
Young basketball players in Jr. High to High School of Fort Campbell Snipers from Clarksville, Tennessee, asked Lin for his best advises to youths on and off the court.
Lin said that off the court, it is academics, because if a sports player gets into a career injury, he would have his education to fall back on. When he came out of high school, he didn’t get any scholarship offers. Although Harvard recruited him to play, Ivy leagues don’t offer scholarship. Luckily, he had a certain level of grade point average to get into the college. “Even though it was in the classroom, it helped me in my career to play at the next level.”
His best advice on the court is to have fun, said Lin, because basketball is a game. Meanwhile, he told the youths to not be afraid to admit your weaknesses and work on them. He said his weakness is his left hand and outside shooting, which he had been working on during the offseason. “Even though I’m not good and it is really frustrating, through time it gets a lot better and a lot easier. My weaknesses have now become my strengths,” he said.
When asked about how he deals with challenges in his life that he had to overcome, Lin answered, “Every challenge that I go through kind of go back to my faith in God, in Jesus. For me, [it is about] understanding everything happens for a reason. Often times, we only see a smaller picture, so we might see one thing and it might be a rough or tough situation.
“For example, when I got cut a couple times, when I get sent to the D-league many times, when I didn’t get scholarship for college, when I didn’t get drafted, I was always really disappointed, frustrated, and angry,” he said. “But those things turned out to be good for me, for they taught and motivated me, and often times God turn the bad situations into good. I think that’s a big part of why my story is what it is. I’m thankful and blessed to be able to still be in the NBA today.”
Role Models On and Off the Court
When asked who his role models are on and off the court, Lin said on the court it was Michael Jordan. “When we were growing up, he was the man and always winning the game. Off the court, I would say it was my older brother. He taught me a lot about what it means to be a man and what it means to grow up and take responsibility and what character means. Whether that is perseverance, humility, and love, and different things like that I think are essential in being the type of person you want to be.”
Advice to Those Picked Last or Those Who Feel Other Doubting Them
Lin used his experiences to encourage those who are picked last or feel others doubt them.
“I just remember that whenever I did get cut or whenever I didn’t get chosen I just told myself for the next amount of time I will be the first in the gym and the last out of the gym. That’s going to be my motto or hang my hat on. Whether it works out or doesn’t work out down the road, the one thing that I will be able to say is that I outworked and work harder than everybody else and I gave my best effort. But sometimes that really doesn’t get you to where you want to. Yet I think as long as you are able to do that, I think that’s the best way to look at it. To be able to give your best effort, I really don’t have any regrets.”
Being a Christian in NBA
A youth basketball player from the Fort Campbell Sniper asked if it is hard being a Christian in the NBA. Lin said, “Absolutely. There is always going to be temptations not just in NBA but in life in general. There is always going to be your peers who are constantly looking at you, if you come up standing for something. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just make sure that when you do live your life, it is consistent. And when you try to do it, just make sure that you do it as consistently as you can.”
Linsanity Experience: Going from rags to riches
Former army Kari Miller, who plays wheelchair basketball and volleyball, asked Lin what it was like to go from sleeping on his brother’s couch and being broke to international stardom.
Lin said, “It was pretty crazy, scary, and overwhelming at first. You know I just wanted to play basketball and I didn’t think everything was going to happen the way it happened. A little over a year I been able to take a step back and really appreciate everything to be able to say that was so much fun. The city of New York was on fire with energy with enthusiasm. Our team was having a ton of fun on the court. It was a really a memorable experience. Some I will have to really cherish and remember for the rest of my life.”
Towards the end, Jim Herdt, 9th Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, encouraged Lin for being an outstanding role model for the youths and service men and woman out there.
“Jeremy, I just want to give you a virtual high five for being a role model that you are in the world that is sometimes so hard that you’ve mentioned to be a positive role model in particularly in some sports that we don’t do so well. Having a values system that you live, it is important for these young snipers and for all of us young and old to see that there is someone out there that lives the value system that is worth emulating. I just want to say thank you for all you do for all of us and for these young men and women that serve our country so well to have someone like you to look up to. Thank you so much.”
In response, Lin thanked the members of the military for everything that they’ve done to protect this nation. “I think that’s a big part of why I want to do this just to be able to say thank you to you guys as well. It’s a lot more important than some of the things that we’re doing on the basketball court, so thank you.”