If like me you hadn’t heard of the names Richard Levi or Jeremy Lin a couple of months ago – you would be forgiven. If you still haven’t heard of the names Richard Levi or Jeremy Lin – you can’t be from planet Earth! These two latest sensations have rocked the sporting world beyond their own imagination and wildest dreams.
Levi’s claim to fame: he’s a South African cricketer, who opened the batting on the 19th February against New Zealand and not only managed to score the most 6’s (13) in a T20 International innings but capped it with the fastest century (off 45 balls) as well as the highest score ever! Not out at 117 (off 51 balls) he equalled the record set by Chris Gayle. The timing of his blitz could not have been better as he now has IPL owners scrambling for his signature. This is a total contrast to a few weeks earlier, when he went unsold in the initial player auction. Not bad for a lad who has yet to play an ODI for South Africa.
Lin’s claim to fame: he’s a 6-foot-3 NBA basketball player who didn’t receive any athletic scholarship but has a Harvard degree and is of Chinese descent. Characteristics uncommon to most NBA players but wait it gets better. After graduating in 2010 he managed to get a deal with his hometown team the Golden State Warriors (GSW) but seldom played during his rookie season and ended up playing mostly in the NBA Development League (D-League). However, after been waived by both the Warriors and the Houston Rockets he ended up on the books of the New York Knicks. Again he ended up in the D-League. The Knicks were on the verge of releasing him when fate happened…some Knicks players suffered injuries and with a stroke of perfect timing he put in a formidable performance resulting in him been recalled. In February, the Knicks were down and playing so bad that the coach decided to give Lin a chance on the court. To say he grabbed the opportunity with both hands would be a gross understatement. Since the beginning of February, he has gone on to score 89, 109 and 136 in his 1st three, four and five career starts respectively. The most by any NBA player since 1976. On the 10th February, Lin (scored 38 points) not only led the Knicks to a victory against the Lakers but he also managed to outscore Kobe Bryant (scored 34 points). Lin’s emphatic rise to fame and prominence has been pure magic and led to him appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated, Time magazine and the NY Post and the coining of terms such as“Lincredible”, “Linsantiy”, “Linsational”, “Lincarnation”, “Linvincible”, “Super Lintendo” . One American has already filed a trademark for “Linsanity”.
The wonderful success stories of these two are nothing short of amazing. A month or two ago they were relatively unknown. Today, they are record holders who have rewritten the history books! It is indeed true that “everyday a *star* is born!” The lesson to be learned is to believe in your ability and never lose hope or faith or give up despite the circumstances – you are only one step away and when the opportunity presents itself make sure you are ready to shine bright. As Kobe Bryant said of Lin after he scored 38 points against the Lakers, “players playing that well don’t usually come out of nowhere. It seems like they come out of nowhere, but if you can go back and take a look, his skill level was probably there from the beginning. It probably just went unnoticed.”
How many Jeremy Lin’s or Richard Levi’s go unnoticed because they gave up too soon – just as fate was about to hand them a welcome break?