Canadian superstar Simu Liu and NBA champion Jeremy Lin teamed up with the Canadian Chinese Youth Athletics Association to host a celebrity basketball game on Saturday at the University of Toronto’s Goldring Center.
The event featured more than 20 celebrities, athletes and personalities from the North American Asian community. Its purpose was to raise money for the Jeremy Lin Foundation and the CCYAA’s new community center.
Liu is probably best known for his role as Shang-Chi in the 2021 Marvel movie Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings and as Jung Kim on CBCs Kim’s convenience. Lin is a former NBA player and the first Asian American to win the NBA Championship, which he did with the Toronto Raptors in 2019.
The two joined forces at the event to promote athletics and art for the Asian youth in Toronto.
“We are all united under this shared goal of celebrating our successes across all media and playing this game in support of philanthropy and charity,” Liu said as he spoke to the media.
“Many communities are not properly represented in the media, and I don’t think we can underestimate how much the media influences our perceptions.”
Carli Yim, a member of the CCYAA’s executive council, said the organization’s goal is to promote sports and a healthy lifestyle among Asian youth. It seeks to balance the importance of being healthy and staying active with other goals such as academics and wellness.
Some of the money raised goes to CCYAA’s community center for an inclusive space for Asian youth where they can participate in sports and the arts without hindrance.
“We aim to provide accessible programming. This is what some of the funds will go to,” she said.
‘Resilience, perseverance, confidence’
Lin spoke to the media and reflected on the life lessons he learned through basketball and how he hopes to see the youth learn those lessons and break down barriers.
“It taught me communication, leadership, teamwork, resilience, perseverance, confidence,” he said. “
Lin added that he grew up in a world where an Asian actor or athlete was “out of the question.” He hopes that future Asian athletes will have a chance to be themselves in their fields and not be compared to the handful of predecessors before them – like himself or NBA Hall of Famer Yao Ming.
“Ultimately, you will not be the sign Asian, and that’s a big part of creating opportunities for the next generation,” Lin said.
The Jeremy Lin Foundation, founded in 2011, has done several jobs, including donations to COVID-19 relief efforts and helping to create greater awareness of growing anti-Asian racism during the pandemic.
Its mission is to support cross-racial youth through community empowerment and narrative change programs.