I’m relatively obsessed with height. I’ve always dreamed of not just being an awesome basketball player, but also looking like I belong comfortably in the paint*. I even tried to play in 8th and 9th grade. I had the same coach both years, who I loved, but hated when I felt like he was constantly yelling at me and gesturing confusingly from the bench while I felt like a short, scrawny chicken running around with my head cut off. Either way, I clearly didn’t have much instinct for it, and the coach even yelled once, “THIS ISN’T VOLLEYBALL, GET THE BALL!!!” when I smacked it out of someone else’s hands. I’m still kind of traumatized by it. Though I wasn’t cognizant of it at the time, I now wished I could have seen at least one Asian American on either the boys or girls basketball teams.
So, of course, I’m in awe after coming across the story of Sim and Tanveer Bhullar, two Indian brothers who moved to a school “nearby” to play basketball. From the way they are coming along, the pair will picked up at the college level. By marital default (my husband bleeds black and gold – need I say more?) I have to hope that at least one of them (but definitely, both, especially since they want to play together) goes to Pitt, where they will be bigger than the famed Primanti Brothers sandwich. And with their growing athleticism, if basketball doesn’t work out, maybe they can try for the Pittsburgh Pirates, where the mascot is currently their best player. Though I’m not the biggest Pennsy fan, I love that they’re here in the same state, and would potentially make Pittsburgh that much more interesting.
Hopefully, this will make Jeremy Lin not feel so lonely as one of the few APAs in the sport and others aware that tall Asian Americans do exist, as Jeff wrote about in his experiences with his sons’ basketball team. Maybe someday I’ll have kids who will be inspired by these great trailblazers and be tall enough to play some legitimate ball (and not dump their milk at breakfast like I did and now regret), so I can live vicariously through them.
*I have to admit I had to verify some basketball lingo and sports statistics with my husband. He’s not so thrilled about my Pirates assessment, though he knows it’s very true.