Jeremy Linspires us all
Jeremy Lin has been tearing it up in the NBA over the past two weeks, and he’s been called an inspirational success story—one of what can happen if you never give up and continue to persevere.
That being said, Lin is not just an inspiration to the athlete, but to everybody. Especially the community college student.
As far as career paths are concerned, there definitely a stereotypical road to success. Academically and athletically, high school graduates are expected to go on to four year institutions. From there, the path should be clear: the athletes get drafted and go on to their leagues, while students are supposed to find jobs in their field and go on to successful jobs.
Everything is nice and neat and prepackaged this way—thankfully, this is not the case. According to the National Center of Education Statistics, 70.1% of all high school graduates attend college. Of those that attend 4-year institutions, only 57.2% receive a bachelor’s degree. The attrition rate for athletes is one of the worst in the world, as only 1% of college athletes will turn pro.
Jeremy Lin (or even Cam Newton) bucks the mold. He went undrafted after playing at Harvard for four years, and then managed to make it to the roster of the Golden State Warriors, only to be cut the first day of training camp this year. He was assigned to the D-League three times, and was also cut by the Houston Rockets before finding success in New York.
Lin’s quality play coupled with his Asian-American heritage went against the popular stereotype that Asians don’t make great basketball players. The community college student shares a lot in common with Lin—we go against the mold of what is supposed to be “typical” in the educational system.
What sets the successful players/students who don’t come from the typical systems apart from those that do is the drive we have. We know that the road is going to be tougher for us than most, and in order to succeed when need to push ourselves harder and strive to do better than the person next to us.