The tournament will be broadcast live across America. The event will feature an expanded field to eight schools.
I was fifteen when I first picked up a basketball. It was the game that all the cool kids played, and I wanted to be like them. They were kind enough to let me try, so I did. Trying to become Young Kobe just through twice a week sessions that my academic-first Asian parents allowed me.
Monday, August 8, - Summer break is quickly winding down for many across the United States. But for a special team of almost young men mostly in their teens or 20s , vacation has just started.
My high school basketball career culminated in a 77 — 6 defeat at the hands of an unheralded Chinese school team. Well at least the 6 points my team scored was when I came on as a substitute.
Here are the most valuable lessons that basketball has taught me about winning at life.
Data and Statistics Are Your Friends. Neither am I extremely quick, nor accurate with my shooting. My favorite player is Kobe Bryant.
So I started to learn from the man who arguably defended Kobe best: Shane Battier. What was the secret to his success? Shane Battier is incredibly intelligent and disciplined.
But more than that, he prepared for duels against elite NBA players by studying advanced statistics about the way they played. He can devote himself to a process and disregard the outcome of any given encounter.
My job is not to keep him from scoring points but to make him as inefficient as possible. Data and statistics can help us optimize other aspects of our lives.
No more three-hour morning meetings then. Maybe Steve Jobs could hold three-hour meetings, because he was so brilliantly charismatic and mean.
Statistics can help us maximize whatever talents we already have. Just like how one of the most averagely athletic basketball players became a two-time NBA champion.
The Malaysian Malays and Chinese are always there. And we have Filipinos, Australians, Americans and Europeans gracing our court too.
Especially in a country where racial relations are not always the best. To make them see beyond common prejudices and boundaries. Or how the entire Philippines stops and watches when Manny Pacquiao is fighting in the ring. It would be unrealistic to say that a little bit of sports is going to cure racism forever.
Some of the others prefer a traditional two-man Stockton-Malone pick and roll. A team can easily disintegrate because there are so many different opinions. A guy who keeps the team working together.
Does the unglamorous dirty work too. Like collecting rebounds, playing solid defense, and making the extra pass to the open man. He also has a knack for getting the ball to teammates who are in a position to do the same, and he commits few turnovers.
But you can always be a glue guy.
You can be the one who makes the timely assist to keep team morale high. The one who makes work fun. The one who makes all his teammates better. You might not get all the plaudits, attention, or money.
We All Get Old.
Some of us have gotten fat. Some have given up the game for more adult responsibilities: marriage, children and career. Like how Old Jordan and Old Kobe learned to optimize their games: relying on solid post moves and unstoppable fadeaway shots — instead of high-flying acrobatic moves above the rim.
And not to take unnecessary risks, that could potentially cause permanent body damage. Remember to take care of your body. Especially as you start to get older. It helps you enjoy the biggest game of all more: life. My hero then was Roberto Baggio, and I decided I wanted to become a football player.
But instead of going outside to play more, I got stuck playing Championship Manager and writing imaginary news reports about football.
No wonder I could never become very good. Not only did I not have the physical tools, I loved too many other things too.
Maybe this love was meant to be combined with other things I love — like writing. Work it into your schedule. Prioritize it. Even if it hurts you sometimes. And your life will be better for it.