LA SHINES BRIGHT

Life, Music, Sports

A lot of things in life are impossible:

1. Me dunking

2. Counting to infinity

3. Living forever

The list goes on and it can feel weighty — a little hope goes a long way.

Los Angeles is not lacking in hope. People flock to LA with high aspirations, as if the streets were paved with gold. I’m born and raised in this city, so to me the whole “I’m leaving home to make it in LA” story sounds more cliche than anything else. But it’s very real.

This year I’ve interviewed two young musicians — one from Florida and the other from China (article to publish in September) — who both spontaneously left their families to pursue dreams in the City of Angels. They both also said that upon arriving to LA, they felt a unique vibe in the air — a sense that anything is possible, that everyone wants to be something.

Recent NBA news has lived up to the LA hype, especially concerning the Asian American community.

First, hometown girl Natalie Nakase served as an assistant coach for the Clippers during the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. She has been a video coordinator for the Clippers, and her ultimate goal is to be the first female head coach in the NBA.

Some might say it’s a lofty aspiration. She has chops to back it up with her playing time at UCLA, her coaching experience in Japan and her friends with league ties, detailed in Kate Fagan’s feature from 2012. Now Nakase’s one step closer.

Second, hometown boy Jeremy Lin is now a Los Angeles Laker. As of 2013, Asians make up 14.6% of Los Angeles County, so you can bet that despite Lin waving off any notions of Linsanity, it’ll pick right up again in no time.

And remember this?

Kobe Bryant and Lin are now teammates. Lin even revealed that Kobe sent him a text proclaiming that there is lots of work to be done. Dreams do come true!

Stories like that of Nakase and Lin provide a glimmer of hope for a city of dreams.

I grew up playing in the same asian leagues as Nakase and I remember constantly hearing her name like she was a kid prodigy. To see her rise through the ranks on pure dedication is a fitting reminder of another cliche: Hard work pays off.

 

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