December 19, 2008

Stop the Presses!

The San Francisco Chronicle runs a major Pulitzer-worthy investigative report:

Asian Americans remain rare in men's college basketball

Bryan Chu, Special to The Chronicle

Jeremy Lin has seen it and heard it.

Too short. Too skinny. Picked last. Asian.

Those tags stick to Lin wherever he goes, even as the starting point guard for Harvard's basketball team.

"It's a sport for white and black people," Lin said. "You don't get respect for being an Asian American basketball player in the U.S."

Although the game is brimming in popularity among Asian American youth - there are Asian leagues, club teams like the San Jose Ninjas and San Jose Zebras, and packed courts outside schools, churches and temples - Lin practically is alone.

Of 4,814 Division I men's basketball players in 2006-07, there were 19 Asian Americans (including Pacific Islanders and ethnically mixed), according to the most recent NCAA Student-Athlete Race and Ethnicity Report. That's 0.4 percent.

Players, coaches and sociologists cite stereotypes and cultural factors as reasons that percentage might not rise very much in the foreseeable future. At the same time, there are players and coaches making inroads to mainstream, high-profile basketball, and there's a feeling of pioneer spirit among them.

"Especially now that there are lots of Asian Americans growing up and playing, I have to try to hold my own in college," Lin said. "It's definitely motivational and it gives me a chip on my shoulder."
More.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

These reporters didn't look that hard for Asian ballers. I have two cousins who are better than the guys featured in the article. One of my cousins is 6"7 and played for Cal (Div I) on a full ride. He was on the same team as Kevin Johnson, and graduated just a few years before Jason Kidd came along.

But it's true, Asians are not likely to produce as many basketball talents per capita as some other groups.

jody said...

well, east asians only account for about 4% of the US population. even if they were a bit taller and more athletic on average, there still would not be lots of players with a talent pool that small. china, on the other hand, has over a billion people, with players in the professional leagues able to come directly to the NBA. they never bother with NCAA play the way international players from many other nations do. in fact, foreign players are squeezing americans out of lots of NCAA sports. american tennis is in great decline because of this.

the bigger story is that mestizos can barely play any sports at the highest level, despite being the second largest ethnic group in the US.

still, as far as representation goes, probably nothing will ever come close to the hilarious level of discrimination against white players in football. we are now at the point where people are considering legal action due to there being "too few black head coaches", yet not only is nobody talking about the artificial monopoly that black players enjoy, it's almost certainly not even allowed to be discussed. talk about it and risk your job. talk about the converse, that perhaps intelligence, and not running fast and jumping high, is the kind of thing that helps make somebody a good football coach, and lose your job for sure.

it goes along with steve's observation that anything can be too white, but nothing can ever be too (fill in the blank with non-european group). we are now subject to yearly laments about there being "too few blacks" in baseball.

Stopped Clock said...

Here's a list of some of the Asian basketball players named in the full article: Erik Spoelstra, Rex Walters, Blake Wallace, Bobby Nash, Derrick Low.

Peter said...

I'd say the fact that white Americans account for (last I heard) six percent of NBA rosters is and should be more noteworthy.

Anonymous said...

"Of 4,814 Division I men's basketball players in 2006-07, there were 19 Asian Americans (including Pacific Islanders and ethnically mixed), according to the most recent NCAA Student-Athlete Race and Ethnicity Report. That's 0.4 percent."

Asians = Everyone from Pakistan to Samoa (5% of the country)

How many of the 19 are East Asians (who are actually 2% of the country)?

Anonymous said...

Whites are 30% of NCAA basketball. So that's a bit of under representation too.

Anonymous said...

The average height of a NBA player is 6'7''. So let's pretend the Division 1 height average is 6'3'' (no doubt the real average is taller). That would be 2 sd for whites/blacks and 3 sd for Asians.

So 1 in 50 v. 1 in 333 for Asians striking the height requirements. Differences in athletic ability is more debatable. Asians tend to be faster in short sprints than whites.

Anonymous said...

"Erik Spoelstra, Rex Walters, Blake Wallace, Bobby Nash, Derrick Low."

All of those names are half-white or half-black.

Truth said...

"yet not only is nobody talking about the artificial monopoly that black players enjoy,":

In business terms, I don't know if 2/3rds qualifies as a monopoly...and what makes you think it's artificial?

Anonymous said...

in the united states the sport of basketball was reengineered to benefit black style of play and mental approach to the game. then huge amounts of money flooded in to promote this group's dominance.

in a related program of social engineering the promotion of the sport of boxing in the united states ebbs and flows according to whether or not a black (or latino) is champion. foreign or domestic it doesn't matter. black guy from england is heavyweight champ? he gets maximum exposure. white BROTHERS from europe are heavyweight champs? the american media yawns.

big media promotion of ultimate fighting spiked when blacks began participating. that shift was so obvious.

soon the powers that be will be forced to reengineer the rules of football also if certain quarterbacks don't start winning the superbowl.

the media blasts the dominant performance of this group into every child and adult mind in the country relentlessly. one might think that the media in the united states is working to alter the psychology of the majority population on every level and at every turn.

Anonymous said...

"All of those names are half-white or half-black."

Low is a Chinese family name.

SKT said...

Most East-Asian guys that I know that went to school here are driving a BMW by the time they're 30.

Damage to their pride aside, I doubt they're losing much sleep over the fact that they're not getting much court time (or even bench time) in basketball.

Besides, they seem to hold their own in golf, and - increasingly - at various Olympic sports.

SKT said...

Besides this kind of reminds me of the time that I asked my friend how many black guys there were in hockey. He laughed and said there's only a handful of Americans in hockey.

There may not be that many East-Asians in basketball, but how many white American guys are there in the NBA? Maybe those gloating here need to take a look at their own house before they put the abuse on someone else's.

past tense tribe said...

I await some Microsoft ads, where, when children are dreaming about what they'll be when they grow up, the East Asian kids aspire to be hoop stars, while the black kids are all shooting for "astronaut" and "chemist".

Anonymous said...

You're not going to find much athletic talent from the pool of asian-americans whose parents were able to immigrate here due to their scientific and engineering talents.


One of Maryland's more popular freshmen this year is a 6'8" South Korean.

Truth said...

"in the united states the sport of basketball was reengineered to benefit black style of play and mental approach to the game."

There's one in every group.

How, exactly, was the the sport 'reengineered'? The court is still 90 feet long, the free throw lines are still 15 feet away, the baskets are still 10 feet high, which coincidentally are what they were in the 1920's.

We do have a 3 point line now, but oh, wait, long distance shooting is a 'white guy's strength', isn't it? Maybe the game was re-engineered to keep it 20% white instead of 10.

Oh, and there is that whole 24 second shot clock thing. Strangely enough, I don't know too many people who miss the days of four guys passing the ball around the perimeter for 7 minutes before launching a two-handed set shot. Yeah buddy, great idea, let's bring back the 32-27 final score.

"n a related program of social engineering the promotion of the sport of boxing in the united states ebbs and flows according to whether or not a black (or latino) is champion."

That's funny, I remember Gerry Cooney and Tommy Morrison getting opportunities and paychecks FAR above their abilities. I have no problem with that, good for you. However, let me ask you one question. How many Klitchko PPV events have you spent YOUR hard earned 49.99 on?

Well, that just about settles it doesn't it, because blacks bought Tyson and Holyfield fights by the hundreds of thousands and Mexicans have no problem spending their money on De La Hoya.

"black guy from england is heavyweight champ? he gets maximum exposure."

Oh yeah that's right, I remember all those Ford, GM, Chrysler, GE, Wal-Mart and JC Penney national American commercials, Lewis was featured on, the dozens of Sports Illustrated covers, the 60 Minutes interviews, The acting career that came from his boxing...Oh wait, I don't remember them.

"ne might think that the media in the united states is working to alter the psychology of the majority population on every level and at every turn."

I thought nature was more important than nurture?

Anonymous said...

The real and much more interesting story of Asian sports participation, which this article missed completely, is that it is driven by Asian families having figured out that athletics is a key factor used in manipulating US college admissions. The racial quotas limiting the number of Asians (and Jews) at selective colleges include the unwritten admissions requirement of nonacademic "extracurricular activities" such as athletics or volunteer work. Rather than making their children rejection-fodder for lack of that baloney on their resume, the Asian parents have learned to demand production of the baloney, especially from those kids who are less intellectually formidable.

Those Asian basketball, football, soccer players are not gearing up for the professional leagues. They are the above-average but not amazingly high IQ chidlren of Asian parents, aiming not to become doctors and lawyers and PhD's, but to join the "educated jock" track into the Ivy League business schools or Wall Street.

Anonymous said...

"How many Klitchko PPV events have you spent YOUR hard earned 49.99 on?"

In order to have a PPV event, you need an exciting opponent. It's been a while since either Klitschko has had one of them, though it's not for lack of willingness to take on challengers. If Floyd Mayweather, Jr., were a foot taller and a hundred pounds heavier (and weren't currently retired), he would be an exciting opponent worthy of a PPV event. Who among the current heavyweight contenders would generate that much interest? That chubby Latino fellow, Chris Aurioli (SP?)? The 7-foot Russian Valuev, who barely beat 46 year old Holyfield? That 16-0 Russian kid? A has-been like Holyfield? One or the other of the Klitschkos will probably fight each of those guys, but none of them would make me want to drop $49.99.

The problem there isn't ethnicity as much as it is the fairly weak talent pool in the heavyweight division.

Other than that, I think you're spot on with your basketball comments.

- Fred

Truth said...

Thanks Fred.

I think my point with Klitchko is that I've read a few white guys, especially on castefootball.us, come up with the theory that Klitchko is being 'held down by the system' in some way. 'The system' runs upon dollars, and these same complainers don't buy his fights.

Ali fought a lot of bums and Joe Louis had his 'bum of the month' club, but Yankee stadium and Madison Square Garden were always filled, everybody went to the closed circut and that was that.

For the record, I think that both brothers are among the top ten heavyweights of alltime, and that there are only 5 heavyweights in history who would have had a decent chance to beat Wladimir; Liston, Ali, Foreman, Holmes, Holyfield, Lewis and Bowe. I think the only two who would have beaten him are Lewis and Holyfield.

Anonymous said...

Derrick Low is half white.

Henry said...

jeremy lin! I played pickup with him in high school. A good athlete, but not an overwhelming one, relatively thin. A great, great high school player, but would likely struggle in pac 10 play. he's exactly where he needs to be, averaging 20 points for an ivy league team.

Anonymous said...

I am Asian my self. All these beating around the bush and no one is looking at the big elephant in the room. Could there be a difference in genetics where Asians are at a disadvantage here? Height differences quickly comes to mind, but other areas such jumping ability etc, also seems to have a gap that persists after a number of generations of living here.