When Preparedness Meets Opportunity

Occasionally when it comes time to write my editorial and there are many stories vying for my attention, I find it difficult to focus on just one idea.

Right now there are presidential primaries being held in numerous states, and I suppose that’s important information to cover. I’m particularly interested in a character who’s running from my home state of Pennsylvania. But I won’t write about that.

Another point of interest at the moment is the lack of winter weather we’ve been experiencing this season. I know it’s been nice in some ways – lower heating bills, less snow to shovel and drive in. But at the same time I feel sorry for those who depend on our snow to make a living. Plowing is almost non-existent and the ski resorts are hurting. I won’t go into detail about this either.

It may be a different story several weeks from now, and you know how fickle popular media can be, but what I feel compelled to write about at the moment because I can’t seem to escape it is Lin-sanity! I listen to a lot of sports radio, so my radar may be more attuned to this phenomenon. What I’m referring to is the incredible level of popularity realized by one Jeremy Lin, who plays for the NBA’s New York Knicks.

His story is one of the best underdog dramas to unfold in a long time. As of today, Jeremy has been the starting point guard for the Knicks for six straight games, and they’ve won every game since he started. This is a guy who was the third or fourth string guard on the team, and because of dire circumstances due to injuries and the losing record of the team, Jeremy got a shot to play. He took advantage of the opportunity given him and has had incredible success. He was ready to accept the challenge and it shows.

Jeremy proved himself a winner even back in high school, helping his team win a California state championship. But no Division I schools wanted to give him a scholarship, so he figured if he was going to be a walk-on player for a college, he’d do it right and go to an Ivy League school. He chose Harvard. While there, Jeremy led the basketball team to successful seasons. Oh yeah, he also has a Harvard degree, which don’t come easy.

Fast forward to the NBA. He bounces around from team to team without ever really getting a shot to prove himself, in spite of past successes in high school and college. Instead of giving up, he stayed in shape and stayed focused, just in case an opportunity did present itself.

Now he has shown his teammates and the world what he can do. By the way, did I mention he’s the first American-born Chinese or Taiwanese ever to play in the NBA, and the first Harvard grad to play in the NBA since the 1950s?

I find his story incredibly inspiring. And it reminds me to keep my dreams intact and to be prepared and ready, because you never know when opportunity comes knocking.


by Mark Stash