American media reported that Jeremy Lin shared his testimony during his recent visit to Taiwan, but I couldn’t find a link. Today a friend, George Chong, sent me a link to a non-searchable video on YouTube that shows the testimony. I think you’ll enjoy it.
Skip to 1:05:26:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjmLoFP8Jqk&t=1h5m26s
Several things stand out to me:
- One of the points I stressed in my book, and one of the points Jeremy stresses here, is that Jeremy was not a good practice player or team player prior to an injury at the end of his junior season in high school. His experience of hardship was crucial to overcoming the “arrogance” of a young athlete to whom everything has always come easily.
- When I spoke with one of Jeremy’s teammates, Brian Baskauskas, about Jeremy’s high school days, he told me a lot about Coach Diepenbrock’s unorthodox training methods, and about how Jeremy was the last person to be dragged through all the tough training regimen. After his injury, Jeremy in his senior campaign became the hardest working guy on the team, and he was leading the team to work harder and harder. But one pre-injury illustration had to do with Jeremy’s determination to shoot jump-shots instead of set-shots (where your feet stay on the ground) from three-point territory. “I don’t know if he was just being a punk or if he really thought it was best for him,” said Baskauskas (who was one year older, and the team leader before Jeremy), but Jeremy refused all the encouragement from the coaches and from Baskauskas to practice his set-shots, which he hit at a much higher percentage. And as Jeremy notes here in this testimony, he was 1 for 13 on the season on three-point shots from the top of the arc, prior to the game-winner he hit against Toronto in game 6 of their seven-game winning streak. No wonder Jeremy felt such disbelief that he made the shot.
- Again, the cultural contrasts here are strong. I’m not referring to his Asian American culture, but to his personal character and the way it contrasts with NBA culture. Jeremy admits to playing it cool in interviews, but he also admits to going back to his little couch and screaming like a little girl. He admits to being even more shocked than everyone else.
- Even after the explosion of Linsanity, with all the success that came his way, Jeremy says that he eventually found it all hollow. By March 11, 2012, Jeremy wrote in his diary, “I’m slowly losing my happiness. I’m too focused on getting good stats, winning games, and living up to Linsanity. I just need to play for God and not put pressure on myself to pray for everybody else.” He says, “This is when I realized how empty the things of this world could be…I’ve been to the top of the world. I’ve had my dream come true, and more than my dream come true. But it wasn’t enough. I had [everything I thought I wanted], but I’m not satisfying. Now I just want more. I want a championship. And if I win the championship, I want another one the next year. If I live like this, if I base my identity on how many points I score, how much money I have, how many games we win, I will never, ever be satisfied. If you chase the things of this world, you will never be satisfied either. “I had what I thought would satisfy me. I had my dream. Two years ago, when I was stuck in the depths of the D-league, all I wanted was to establish myself as an NBA player. I’ve done that, but it’s not enough, and it didn’t bring me the joy I thought it would.” He shares Matthew 16:26, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Then he brings it home: “The thing I learned through Linsanity is that there is nothing this world can offer that will provide me with true joy, fulfillment and satisfaction. There’s only one thing that can truly and eternally satisfy you: Jesus Christ.”
Again, here’s an athlete worth emulating, worth admiring, an athlete whose character and behavior is worth commending to your kids. That was one of the major reasons I wrote Jeremy Lin: The Reason for the Linsanity — and if you haven’t seen it yet, you should.