NEW YORK – An emergency meeting was held on the campus of St. John’s University late last night. Hundreds of frightened Asian-American parents from various boroughs crammed into a small classroom to voice a new concern: Asian-American children thinking of basketball fame instead of a livelihood in the medical field or technology.
“My family worked in the fields of Manchuria for years,” stated Chinese-American Xu Xiao. “They came here so I could get a good education and make them proud. I was locked inside my room everyday for two hours after school. When I came out, I needed to recite the Periodic Table of Elements or name every bone in the human body. This is when I was 8. Now, I’ve been nice enough to my son. I don’t want him to go through that pain…but I do expect him to follow in the path of our heritage; which is the stereotypical path towards being a doctor or computer specialist. Now? All he wants to talk about is basketball, basketball, basketball.”
The rave is coming from the New York Knicks new starting point guard Jeremy Lin. Lin has excelled in the starting role, and by doing so has created new interest in basketball amongst the Asian-American community.
“So, Lin was a starting point guard at Harvard,” bemoaned worried father Dr. Harold Chung. “The emphasis for our kids needs to be ‘Harvard’, not basketball. So, he got all-Ivy league, made an NBA team…you know what’s important? He got a 3.1 GPA in economics! In case he hurts his knees, he has a job! My son, he is no longer focused on our heritage’s needs for consistent stereotyping. I keep telling him to leave the sports and drugs to the white kids…but he won’t listen. Before you know it, he’s gonna be partying at some state college majoring in philosophy. My people got Confucius! That’s all the philosophy you need! Now make some money before I kick you out of the house!”
The problem for some Asian-American children has been that of height; or lack thereof.
“Maybe this wasn’t a good idea,” said second generation 7th grader Stephen Chang. “I saw the Lin highlights last night. He’s just like me! Smartest guy in his class…Asian. So, I figured I should try basketball, too…turns out I’m just 4’10” and that ‘switch-handed layup’ Lin does…guess that’s for like professionals. I tried that driving the lane in practice. This guy Jermaine rejected it, turned me upside down, put me in a garbage can, and then rolled me into the locker room. There, I was forced to do the team’s chemistry homework. Then they gave me an abacus as a parting gift. I think that was a bit passive-aggressive. Whatever. They won’t be laughing when they have to call me Dr. Chang in 20 years.”
While some younger kids are trying basketball and failing, others are forgoing college altogether.
“He opened my eyes,” said Stephanie Cho. “I was looking at all of my acceptance letters: NYU, Brown, Dartmouth, etc…then I saw Jeremy play. I thought, ‘why am I going to live up to some silly stereotype?’ It’s time for me to fly. So, I’m gonna go against the grain and go to Berkley and become an ankle specialist. Yeah. That’s right. I’m gonna stick it to my parents by partially fulfilling their dreams.”
Jeremy Lin was not available for comment.
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