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Family behind my rise to AFL: Jong

From about the age of 10 I wanted to be an NBA player.

Any opportunity I had I would be shooting hoops and imitating basketball stars like Kobe Bryant and my favourite player, Tracy McGrady.

‘Not many people know this, but we could barely afford to pay for the registration.’ – Lin Jong

As the years passed that passion slowly switched to football and I was instead trying to imitate stars like Lenny Hayes and Matthew Pavlich.

In 2012, I somehow managed to make the Oakleigh Chargers’ under-18s squad. Not many people know this, but we could barely afford to pay for the registration.

My dad had to ask my sister, who was working at Coles at the time, to buy me football boots. Not once did my dad say I couldn’t do it. He has supported any decision I made and will continue to, post-football.

Luckily, I am able to afford my own boots these days and no longer have to pay for registration.

Obviously this is an insignificant problem in the scheme of life, but everyone has their own difficulties in different shapes and forms. I see this column as another opportunity to say how grateful and appreciative I am for the luck I’ve had growing up in such a great family.

This article was originally published on August 13 in the Star Weekly, as the latest installment of a regular player guest column.