As though several unlikely standout performances in a New York Knicks uniform were not enough to get the attention of NBA fans, point guard Jeremy Lin had to hit a game-winning three-point shot last week against the Toronto Raptors. And with that, Lin's emerging legend began to transcend the sports world.
Lin has taken America's collective consciousness by storm in the two weeks since he stepped off the bench for his first start with the team. He played his college basketball at Harvard University and languished for 20 games in the NBA development league just last year. Now, media members and sports fans alike are fawning over the overnight superstar, whose team has gone 8-2 since Lin started receiving playing time.
Youth sports blogger Rick Wolff writes that Lin's story should inspire youth athletes who may not be the star of their team, but who practice hard and claim they are prepared to step in if needed.
"The real story of Jeremy Lin is that for every kid who sits on the bench in sports, this is their hero," Wolff writes. "Lin personifies in every way the lament of every bench-warmer who pleads: 'Coach, just give me a shot. I know I can play. Just put me in the game.'"
But, Forbes author Bob Cook is slightly more skeptical of this narrative. Cook maintains that Lin's pedigree, upbringing and inherent ability are more responsible for his success than the fact that many NBA teams doubted him.
Cook said that Lin was a standout star in the California high school circuit and had parents who fervently encouraged him to practice his craft. As a youth athlete, his extraordinary talents could have been for naught if they were not stimulated properly.
The takeaway from the Lin saga is that players need encouragement and proper training from their parents and coaches to achieve success. By using the right baseball equipment and basketball apparel, youth athletes can get even closer to their dream of leading their team to victory.