Mountain View, CA
Is there something peculiar about this image? Well, whether you’re racist or not, you probably guessed it. Out of the four players sitting down, I’m the only Asian kid. Hi, I’m Roy, and as you can probably tell, I’m Asian (Chinese in particular). Being of Asian descent is a part of my identity, something I cannot change as it is genetically impossible. Being Chinese to me, however, isn’t such a bad thing; unless you happen to play a sport where at the highest professional level, there is one Asian dude who just happens to be injured right now (Jeremy Lin). Since I started playing basketball at a young age, many people doubted that I actually did. Growing up, when I told people that I played basketball, many did not actually believe me. My frustration surrounded the fact that I often was stereotyped into sports that Asians were seen playing: ping pong, badminton, applied mathematics, and the list continues. Many people thought it was rare for Asian kids to play basketball and they still do. In fact, at most of the tournaments I go to, I usually compensate for one-hundred percent of the Asian population in the whole entire tournament. Although I hated to admit it, some of my critics were correct. As I progressively aged, I began to notice a correlation with the increasing level of competition with the decreasing number of Asian hoopers. My perspective on this was based on the belief that Asian kids quit because they’re parents had switched their sport to computer science or such; however, a few of my Asian friends told me that they quit because they just couldn’t keep up with black and white people and often received racist remarks on the court from the other team primarily for being Asian. Similarly, I have experienced that as well. Although playing a sport and receiving criticism for it primarily based on your gender is indeed frustrating, I have come to terms with being an Asian basketball player. First off all, I literally cannot change my ethnicity. I would legitimately need to implant some genetic mutations or something but I honestly don’t think that the risk it worth it. Secondly, in terms of basketball, I honestly don’t think being Asian is a bad trait at all. After watching several inspirational sports movies about underdogs, I have developed that sense where I, the Asian, am the underdog when I step on the court. According to the plot in these movies, the underdog always prevails in the end so I think I’m on the right road for now. Not only this, but I have realized that whether I was Asian, Mexican, Black, or whatever ethnicity, my goal in basketball was ultimately to have fun. Once I realized this and came to term with my frustrations, I began to have a lot more fun playing basketball and even more fun being Asian. Being Asian is part of my identity and coming to terms with it was a big step in my life as it benefited me both on and off the court.