help wanted desperately

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
anthony1104
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:23 am

help wanted desperately

Postby anthony1104 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:52 am

I knew I did not have a shot at the NBA, but I just could not stop bouncing the ball. When I tell people my passion for basketball with my reading glasses on, I can sense that some people still cannot look past my ethnicity. I can thoroughly visualize them creating images of me in my room, overly zealous, pounding the controller to NBA 2K11 on my PlayStation. Certainly, I am not a stellar performer like Jeremy Lin, an Asian-American who recently made it to the NBA, but I am assured of my ability as a ball player, and I counter the doubtful reactions with, “I start for Hampshire College.” Basketball is just a game or a form of entertainment for many people, but for me, basketball is my childhood memory and my own stimulus package.

I was born in Seoul, Korea, where basketball was only relevant to me by collecting Michael Jordan trading cards. When I was nine our family immigrated to Los Angeles where I was promptly presented with numerous obstacles, with no tools to overcome them. My parents, though well educated, had a tough time securing a job because of their lack of English. Learning English was indeed arduous, but for me, it was more burdensome to deal with others who habitually taunted me for speaking Konglish, a mixture of Korean and English. Not having rice and kimchi at the school cafeteria was also stunning but I did not want to deal with the altercation for bringing a sacked lunch tailored just for my taste. In the face of adversity, I became an idle bystander of my life. But my mind-set changed at the age of 11 when I found my intimate support – basketball.

Whether I was simply dribbling the ball on the garage way or playing at the local league in Diamond Bar, basketball became my definitive sanctuary in my uncertain adolescent environment. Pushed beyond my limits by my parents to excel at school? I went to the park with my basketball. When I was called a C word that rhymes with ink, I put the ball in the hoop to ease my mind. Pressured by my friends to join a gang? I ignored their offer by playing basketball. Basketball is a great equalizer because even though I was the only Asian American player in numerous teams throughout my career, it did not matter.

All the players had a different background with a different narrative of their own, but our common goal of winning kept us intact. Especially in the high school team, I was the target of racial slurs and spiteful insults, all having to do with my Asian ethnicity, but the hoop was color blind and the ball did not care who was dribbling it. I might have released some frustration in the locker room after the game, but my teammates were extremely supportive and in the face of harsh spectators, I did not lose myself on the court. While playing basketball I learned to be the leader of my own life and not let external features beyond my control obstruct my perception of what is important in my life.

In the summer of 2007, only a month away from attending Hampshire College, a disaster swept through our family. After relegating to multiple jobs requiring him to work over 10 hours a day, my dad invested all of his money to acquire a wholesale oil-painting business, but the acquisition was a filthy fraud. The previous owner knew that my dad was an immigrant and that he was limited in English, so he modified the bank statements, inventory, and even customer records to sell his near bankrupt business. My mom was in complete sorrow and my dad was ashamed of signing the contract, the deadly contract that took everything away from my family. But, for me, it was just another obstacle that I had to overcome. With no income and no money in my parents’ savings account, I was in fear that I might have to drop out of college, but I was not ready to give up my dreams. I made numerous phone calls to my relatives in Korea and was able to secure just enough money to pay the first tuition.

I have been to many places in my life, from Korea to Los Angeles, from being an idle bystander to an active participant, and from the bench to the starting five of the Hampshire College basketball team. Many challenges have presented themselves throughout my life, but the lessons that I learned through basketball helped me seize the situation and conquer them through hard work and determination. My personal experience as an immigrant has been difficult, but it has given me the desire and the passion to succeed and I am positive these qualities will help me excel in the study of law.

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crysmissmichelle
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:39 am

Re: help wanted desperately

Postby crysmissmichelle » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:07 am

I like it, a lot.

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nataliejane38
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:19 pm

Re: help wanted desperately

Postby nataliejane38 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:25 am

I don't think the first paragraph is as strong as it could be...

Basketball is just a game or a form of entertainment for many people, but for me, basketball is my childhood memory and my own stimulus package.

This line does not work...it is more than a childhood memory, it is currently an important part of your life and you already mentioned that you are not NBA material, so I am not sure how it is your stimulus package?

Not having rice and kimchi at the school cafeteria was also stunning but I did not want to deal with the altercation for bringing a sacked lunch tailored just for my taste.

This line is good, but altercation is not used correctly.

In the face of adversity, I became an idle bystander of my life.

I am not sure exactly what this means? You were withdrawn? You were unmotivated, uninspired? I think this needs more explanation.


But my mind-set changed at the age of 11 when I found my intimate support – basketball.

Intimate is not the right word to use here.

Whether I was simply dribbling the ball on the garage way

I have never heard it called a garage way, only drive way.


In the summer of 2007, only a month away from attending Hampshire College, a disaster swept

but the acquisition was a filthy fraud.

and my dad was ashamed of signing the contract, the deadly contract that took everything

I would modify those words, they seem too angry, it is more important to show how you were able to overcome the situation.


Overall, I think the subject of your statement is good, it needs a bit of refining and also a stronger link to why you want to attend law school, that is not addressed until the last lines.

(Let me know if you want me to remove the quotes)

anthony1104
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:23 am

Re: help wanted desperately

Postby anthony1104 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:14 pm

thank you so much!




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