What sparked my interest in Sports Statistics:
As my beloved younger brother was going through one of the most convoluted rites of passage as a teenager, figuring out what major he wanted to pursue in college, there was a lot of noise and dissension in our family.
My parents, of course wanted what was best for him, and they had been trying (perhaps failing) to convince him to choose from one of the engineering disciplines. As an Industrial Engineering major myself, who just finished my first internship in Corporate America, I agreed that having an engineering degree lead to many great opportunities. However, I didn’t always agree with my parents’ methods of convincing my brother (pestering, nagging…sometimes even bluffing about not helping him pay for tuition.)
No one likes being told what to do, especially seventeen year old boys, and Philip was no exception.
It seemed like every time my parents tried to shove the idea down his throat, he resisted even more as a reposnse. I would often try to put myself in his shoes and think, “What would convince me to take on something like engineering, if I were him?”
One day, my wonderful boyfriend sent me a link of a video he found to be inspirational and it featured the founder of GoPro, Nick Woodman, and detailed how important it was to always pursue your passion outside of work so that it can inspire you:
It made me really think about how to approach the college major decision/situation with my younger brother. How could I inspire him to pick a suitable major for himself by showing him it is possible for him to put passions first?
When I brainstormed about the passions that Philip had, the first (and really) only thing that really came to my mind was Sports. It was like a religion to our whole family, especially since we grew up in Texas.
Between my father and my brother and I, we had nicknames for every player on the Dallas Mavericks since I was in 3rd grade. One of the best days of my childhood, and arguably life was that summer day when the Dallas Mavericks won the championships in 2011. Our family had a St. Patrick’s Day tradition of going to Mavs game every year (one thing I miss so much since I’ve been to college).
My father who immigrated to the United States in 1996 and became a citizen in 2003, made the observation that knowing about the subject of sports always kept him in the loop with his American co-workers, while other immigrant employees failed to relate to their peers because they failed to understand how integral sports is to the American culture.
Currently, my brother works as a ball boy for the Dallas Mavericks so we get five free tickets to every home game at the American Airlines center, and he gets to continue pursuing his passion as a sports fan court level!
After having clearly identified Philip’s passion, I tried to relate it to engineering, and marry the two concepts in hopes that he would see the opportunity in still being able to pursue sports, his passion, while creating a career for himself.
Sports statistics was my epiphany and this is what started it all.