Jeremy Lin was back on the basketball court this weekend, but unfortunately for Nets fans, not quite for an NBA practice.
Instead, it was for a clinic with PGC Basketball — the company’s president, Mano Watsa, started his career running basketball camps as a teen in high school (his parents, he said, were very cool about it considering they were suddenly hosting dozens of kids in their backyard).
“The most interesting (times were) when we had a rain day. So when it rained we had to take 80 kids into my parents living room for an hour or two. So the good thing was my parents were good sports.”
Decades after starting his camps in his parents’ backyard, Watsa met Lin at a clinic in Charlotte and the two decided to team up for the event in New York at the NBPA headquarters. A group of high school students came for a day of basketball and learning about teamwork.
“We’re teaching them the game of basketball, but things beyond just the game,” Lin said. “They’re things that can be applied to the game but definitely go beyond like teamwork, communication, leadership, life skills, those kinds of things.
“We’re just looking to give these kids opportunities to be able to have experiences they wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else and we’ve had the NBPA open up their offices and home facilities with the floor and classroom film area. I think it’s pretty cool because the kids get to come out here and work out on the floor that the NBA players work out on in the summer and that’s been pretty cool to see.”
We spoke to Lin about the clinic and how rehab is going.
My favorite moment is just — because we spent an hour and a half in the classroom before we even got on the basketball floor to start — and I wasn’t sure how that was going to work because there was so much information being thrown at them. Just to see them pick up everything and apply it to the game. They were playing 3-on-3 and 4-on-4 and going through drills and we emphasize a lot being positive and high fiving teammates, calling them by name and the tone in which you communicate. To see them do that and bring so much energy to each other, I almost forgot about the basketball. The energy in there and the way in which they treated each other, I was just excited about that.
I miss that and just being a part of some team that’s chasing a greater purpose. Rehab is very individualized and focused on the individual injury. The reason why I love basketball is because I wanted to be on a team and this was a great opportunity to do that. But yeah, I definitely miss it.
I text a lot of my teammates. They actually check up on me a lot. Also, just we’re all friends on Instagram and Snapchat. A lot of times the person I text is the person I feel like I need to pick up and encourage or someone who I think has done something really great and I just want to let them know their hard work is paying off and I want to encourage them in that area. The reverse is a lot of my teammates just checking in, always asking how I’m doing, when I’ll be back. It’s been really cool and I feel far distance-wise but I feel very close to what’s going on because there’s been so much communication.
Everything’s going smooth and exactly to the game plan and the timeline so it’s been very very smooth and I’ve just been really thankful for all the work that other people have put into my rehab as well.
Rehab is probably more time-consuming than if I [was playing] because it’s really an all-day thing so I really don’t have that much time. But I try to spend my free time working on my off-the-court stuff as well, try to get that going and headed in the right direction but yeah not that much spare time.
I have an e-sports team, I have a basketball school that I’ve opened up in China and we’ll expand to five locations soon and then there’s a lot of the social media stuff, other things, endorsements and all of that and maybe figuring out where we want to go next.