Jeremy Lin will get to make that New York commencement speech after all. No really, he will.
As distributed through SportsGrid and NBC New York, among other sites, Lin still won't be able to attend New York (N.Y.) Stuyvesant High for the school's commencement ceremony -- he'll either be competing for the Knicks in the playoffs or revamping his fitness in the aftermath of his recent knee injury in his Northern California homeland at the time of Stuyvesant's graduation -- but the sidelined Knicks point guard and Harvard grad filmed an official response to the Stuyvesant teens who had begged him to speak before they walk across the stage in an emotional video plea posted in late March.
Lin posted his response on YouTube, and the video proves that the budding point guard knows how to play to his strengths, playing up his nerdy reputation by wearing thick glasses and a nice button down-sweater combo for the video, in which he emphasized how he hopes his rise to the NBA can prove to teens that they can achieve anything they put their mind to.
"Never let anyone tell you what you can't do... you really can accomplish a lot more than what other people think you can, and sometimes even more than you think you can yourself," Lin said in the address. "When I'm done with my life, I don't want to look back and have regrets and wish that I had tried harder here, or I was more disciplined here, or had extended myself and done something a little outside of my comfort zone."
While Lin's broad-based appeal goes far beyond the Asian-American diaspora, the impending free agent also seemed to acknowledge that the large proportion of Asian-American students at Stuyvesant played a role in the school's emotional plea to get him to commencement. The Knicks guard -- who hopes to return for Game 4 of his team's playoff series against the Heat -- offered up a Chinese message to close his two-and-a-half minute speech in response to a question asked by a Stuyvesant teacher in the video plea for him to speak at graduation. Lin also urged the school's Christian club to "spread God's love."
The evolution of the Knicks' offense under new coach Mike Woodson since Lin's injury may raise doubts about the Taiwanese American's future in New York, there is little doubt that his popularity will endure with Stuyvesant students and others in the region, in large part because of his meteoric rise and down to earth response to the vast fame which suddenly fell in his lap.
"I think the most important thing for me looking back isn't that I got to the NBA, it's that I enjoyed the path to the NBA, that I had fun playing basketball and now it's something I really love and still love doing," Lin told the Stuyvesant students in his videotaped speech.
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