Devon Harris – Jamaican bobsled athlete writes about: Life lessons learned from Jeremy Lin

Devon Harris captures what many of us are thinking and feeling about Jeremy Lin at this time.  For those of you who don’t know who Devon Harris is – think of the movie “Cool Runnings”.  NOW you all know why Devon is able to write about Lin in such a compelling and moving manner.

As an original member of the 1988 Jamaican bobsled team and captain of the 1992 and 1998 teams; 3-time Olympian, Devon Harris achieved his grand dream – his current dream is to inspire others to achieve theirs. Tapping the same energy, determination and skills that enabled him to bobsled with the best in the world, Devon, as a motivational speaker is now sparking audiences of all ages to dream big and take their "game" to the next level.  Harris wrote the 2008 children's book, Yes, I can! ……………………………………………………………………………………………….

Life lessons learned from Jeremy Lin


I can’t say I’m totally Linsane, but my faith that I live in the land of “anything is possible” has been renewed and rejuvenated.  The New York Knicks unlikely savior has me tuned in and turned on for three reasons:

  • Living just north of NYC, it is extremely cool to see the New York Knickerbockers bringing respect and dignity back to the fabled Madison Square Garden.
  • I am always happy to see someone succeed, especially after overcoming adversity.
  •  As a Jamaican bobsledder I am super stoked to see someone break the stereotypical mold.   As a Taiwanese-American born basketball player, Jeremy Lin doesn’t break the mold, HE OBLITERATES IT!

Believe in yourself

Despite being a high school standout and earning All-Ivy First Team honors multiple years, Jeremy didn’t get a scholarship nor got anyone’s notice in the 2010 NBA draft. He settled for a partially guaranteed contract with the Golden State Warriors but spent more time in the D League than with the team. After the Warriors, the Houston Rockets.  Total court time with them through the preseason:  7 minutes.  After Houston released him, the Knicks signed and sent him back to the D-League.  Injuries to their already paper thin guard corps, gave Lin another chance… to sit the bench.  He totaled 55 minutes in the first 23 games. After more injuries and other issues hit the Knicks Jeremy Lin finally got his chance. All this time his belief in himself never wavered.

Persistence Pays

No scholarships, not drafted, bench sores, racial slurs… Jeremy Lin faced it all.  Even before the NBA, opposing teams discounted him, coaches and scouts ignored him, and fans jeered him.  His response?  PERSIST!  Persevere.  Now that Lin is an emerging phenom he will no doubt sign a guaranteed contract worth more than 10x what he is currently earning.  Let me put Jeremy Lin’s story into a simple mathematical equation for you bottom-liners.  Persistence + Perseverance = PAY OFF.

Get Lucky

My friend and fellow Jamaican bobsledder Jason Morris says luck enters when preparation meets opportunity.  Jeremy Lin can be the poster boy for that kind of LUCK.  First glance, we see an “overnight success.”  But a thorough examination reveals a lifetime of preparation and patience. As a kid Jeremy was either at school, at church or in the gym working on his game.  While other NBA-ers viewed the D-League as a D-motion, Jeremy used the time to truly D-velop his jumpers. 

Take your shots when you get them

No pun intended, you have to take your shots when you get them. In elementary school, I learned that the one thing that never comes back is a missed opportunity.  Only one in a million off the bench point guard, dare to take over games.  Dare to take the last second game winning shot!  He’s the first NBA player to put up at least 20 points and seven assists in his first six starts.  He went from unknown to the Eastern Conference Player of the Week in his FIRST week.  He hasn’t just taken his shot, he has given his team, the league and the entire world a shot of adrenaLIN. 


Keep on Pushing! .. Contributed by Devon Harris



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