Jeremy Lin, the Charlotte Hornets star, is still reeling from a close high school mate’s suicide during his growing-up years in the Bay Area.
Recently, an article titled “The Silicon Valley Suicides” in The Atlantic highlights the alarmingly high suicide rate at the two high schools in Palo Alto, California – Lin’s alma mater.
Lin, 27, took to Facebook to share his own experiences attending the Palo Alto institution.
“When I was a freshman at Palo Alto High, a classmate who sat next to me committed suicide. I remember having difficulty registering what had happened,” revealed the Hornets guard. “A year later, a friend committed suicide. I saw up close the pain and devastation of their loved ones and in my community.”
Still an adolescent, Lin began to notice people burying pain beneath the surface. “I realized then that there are so many burdens we don’t see the people around us carrying. I told myself that I would try to be more sensitive and open to other people’s struggles. We may not have the answers to how to completely solve these issues, but we can take more time to really listen to each other, to reach out and have compassion on one another,” Lin wrote in his heartwarming Facebook entry.
Jeremy Lin felt it was important for residents of Palo Alto to better support and care for one another. “I don’t have any great insight and I don’t know exactly what it’s like to be a high school student today. I do know that I’m proud to be from Palo Alto, a resilient community that I see striving to learn how to better support and care for each other. I hope that my personal experience can remind someone else that they are worth so much more than their accomplishments.”
Jeremy Lin endured academic pressure
The NBA star acknowledged that he too endured emotional struggles in high school by putting too much pressure on himself. “The pressure to succeed in high school is all too familiar to me. I distinctly remember being a freshman in high school, overwhelmed by the belief that my GPA over the next four years would make or break my life. My daily thought process was that every homework assignment, every project, every test could be the difference … The difference between happiness and misery.”
Jeremy Lin hoped that residents of Palo Alto would look to him as a role model and focus on accomplishing something in post-school life. “Separating myself from my results is not an easy lesson and I’ve had to relearn this in every stage of my life. The world will always need you to accomplish more, do more, succeed more. After ‘Linsanity’ there was the pressure to have great performances every night, to become an All-Star, to win championships. I still dream big and give my all in everything I do, but I know that success and failure are both fleeting,” said Lin, who attended Harvard university before joining the NBA in 2011.