Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Jeremy Lin Got to Realize His Dream While My Dad Wouldn’t Allow Mine

When I was 14 years old, I was 5”6’ tall.  A basketball scout came to knock on my apartment door in the campus of the Beijing Institute of Aeronautics and Astronomy.  The scout said I should go to a Basketball training center.  My dad told him that we were not interested.  I, who had never played basketball before, didn’t know what to say.  All I remember was that my dad told me I should spend my time studying and playing violin.  Playing a sport was a waste of time. 

In China, people don’t believe someone could be good at both sports and academics.  They consider athletes to be dumb and stupid.   So my dad took away my one chance to utilize my tall body in a promising way.  Now after so many years, I wish that my dad had let me play basketball.  I think it is far-fetched that I would become a basketball star but at least I would have learned how to become a team player, a trait which I have acquired recently in my middle age.  I have become a sports nut in my own way, but my favorite sports are running, swimming, bicycling, skiing and skating, all of which are individual sports. 

So Jeremy Lin, the Knicks new star, an Asian American NBA basketball player was lucky to be born in the US.  If he were born in China, he would probably be forced to play piano or violin.  If he were “lucky” and discovered as a potential basketball star at a young age, he would most likely be sent to a basketball training camp far away and not allowed to see his family often.  So a normal family in China doesn’t usually let their kids pursue such a career at a young age unless they were orphans.  So my dad was being selfish for not letting me go to the basketball-training center. 

I happen to have a son who is 16 years old, 6”3’ tall and an aspiring basketball player. So Jeremy Lin intrigues me even though I don’t watch basketball games.  My knowledge about basketball has been gained from watching my son playing at middle school and high school games.  I normally don’t have time to watch games due to my duties as a working mother.  .  My interests fit into a stereotype Asian’s tastes.  I like classic music, theatre and movies.  If I have time, I often choose to go to these activities.  Sports are not something I would watch unless my son is playing.  As though fate is working against me, my son who has been taking piano lessons since he was 7, is very talented in sports.  The sport we encourage him to do is fencing, which we think it is not a very popular sport, so he has a chance to get ahead.  He also plays baseball with his friends in the summer and became the pitcher of his team for a couple of seasons.  As for basketball, he always shies away from it.  He was a scorekeeper for his Quaker School team for two years before he decided to try playing in middle school.  Then he flourished.  He quickly became one of the best players on his team.  At the same time, his body is telling him that he should be a basketball player because he was 6 feet tall in eighth grade and has kept growing to 6”2 in his freshman year in high school and 6”3 now in his sophomore year.  He even made it onto the better freshmen basketball team in his high school, whose man’s basketball team is among the top 5 in the state.  That was quite a challenge because he was playing with basketball players whose first words were “Basketball”.  Compared with them, his two years of playing is just not enough.  He was benched a lot but has also learned a lot.  This year, he didn’t even make the JV team of his high school.  He felt a little discouraged yet he went to play in a recreation league even after he promised to go back to fencing.  I know in his heart, he still loves basketball.  So let it be.  I’m not going to force him to do things he doesn’t like.  

Books by Fantasy Island Book Publishing

Terps by Elaine Gannon
After Ilium by S. M. Swartz
Children Of The Elementi by Ceri Clark
Emeline and the Muntant by Rachel Tsoumbakos
Miranda Warning by Marilyn Rucker Norrod
Brother, Betrayed by Danielle Raver
Ednor Scardens by Kathleen Barker
Land Of Nod, The Artifact by Gary Hoover
Losing Beauty by Johanna Garth
The King Of Egypt by  J. J. Makins
The Last Good Knight by Connie J. Jasperson
The Night Watchman Express by Alison DeLuca
Black Numbers by Dean Frank Lappi
Beloved by Patty Sarro
The Last Guardian by Joan Hazel
Sand by Lili Tufel
Sin by Shaun Allan
Sakuri by Jacob Henzel

Enchanted Heart by Brianna Lee McKenzie
Silent No More by Krista K. Hatch
Sons of Roland: Back Story by Nicole Antonia Carson
City of Champions by Daniel Stanton


jenny milchman said...

I'm glad you are a mother who supports your son's true abilities, Lisa--and I hope your dream does come true, even if it isn't basketball!

Lisa Zhang Wharton said...

Jenny Milchmen, thank you so much. Yes. You know what my dream is now.

Johanna Garth said...

It's amazing how our tolerance for activities outside our usual scope of interest can change when our kids start succeeding at them. I bet those basketball games will become more and more enjoyable to you as your son hones his skills.