Stuyvesant High School, a New York City magnet school, invited New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin in March to speak at its graduation ceremony. Although Lin said he could not attend the graduation, he recently offered students words of advice, a look at his rapping skills and a special message to the Christians on campus.
Lin, 23-year-old Harvard graduate who rose to fame from being a D-League player waived by two teams to become a record-breaking NBA starter in February, offered a video message to the students and staff of Stuyvesant High School.
In the video, Lin appears with a large pair of reading glasses while reading an economics book. He greets the school by saying, "Oh, hey Stuyvesant High," and thanked the school along with the economics teacher from the initial invitation video for reminding him to use his economics degree.
The video sent to Lin by Stuyvesant High School students featured a multitude of students and staff, including Asian student basketball players, an economics teacher, a Mandarin teacher and the Seekers Christian Fellowship club. Lin addressed many of the groups personally in his video, attempting to mimic many of the scenes or respond to their messages.
Speaking to the Christian club Lin says, "To the Christian club, continue to be a light on campus and spread God's light to everybody."
In a portion of the video, Lin switches to aviator sunglasses while rapping in his Knicks jersey with a friend beatboxing next to him. The scene mirrored a clip of two of the many Stuyvesant students who had invited Lin to speak at their graduation.
"Stuyvesant High, I'm gonna give rapping a try/ the video went well congrats class of 2012," Lin rapped.
After rapping, Lin advised the students about their journey to higher education and enjoying every moment.
"So as you go on from high school I just want to encourage you guys to make sure you really have a lot of fun, you enjoy what you're doing and you pursue your passions," Lin told the students. "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 that's something that I loved and still love doing."
Lin's unconventional path to the NBA as an Asian-American un-drafted Harvard graduate who was waived by two teams seemed to prompt him to speak to students about defying people's expectations.
"Never let anyone tell you what you can't do. A lot of times people are going to tell you that you can't do this for whatever reason or that you don't belong here," Lin told the students. "You really can accomplish a lot more than what other people think you can and sometimes even more than what you think you can yourself. Make sure that you really pursue everything with all your heart."
Although Lin admitted that the message may have been one students heard before, he made it more personal for them.
"I know it sounds cliche, (but) what I've 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 (that) I extended myself and had done something a little out of my comfort zone," he said.
In his closing statement to the school, he congratulated students on their graduation.
"So that's all I have for you guys, I just want to say congratulations Stuyvesant High School Class of 2012," Lin said. "Good luck in the future."