Saturday, July 17, 2010

Zachary Lipson - Self-esteem, Effort, Passion and Perseverance

Zachary Lipson. You've probably never heard of him. He's 19 years old, a little guy - about four feet tall - with a BIG heart.

And now he's student-manager of the men's basketball team at the University of Kentucky.

His journey to that destination is an inspiring story. Born prematurely, he weighed less than two pounds. He had numerous medical problems, requiring 25 surgeries while growing up in Nashville, Tennessee. His schoolmates teased him relentlessly, but he fiercely maintained his self-esteem. At Christ Presbyterian Academy he volunteered to serve as manager of the football team, so impressing the coaches with his energy and passion that he was asked to manage football, basketball and soccer all four years. 

But he had a more ambitious goal. He wanted to sit on the same bench with John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats. When his coaches heard of his dream, they put in enthusiastic calls to Kentucky. He got his big chance - a job managing at a Kentucky summer basketball camp. They were impressed, but Zachary had another hurdle. His ACT scores were too low. So he added 40 hours of tutoring to his busy schedule. 

But it all paid off, and this fall Zachary will be a freshman at U.K., student-manager for the basketball team. 

Actions have power, because their consequences cascade into the future. Zachary's story is one of strong self-esteem, effort, passion, and perseverance. Now he's being asked to tell that story in front of audiences. 

See Bryan Mullen's June 5th article in The Tennessean. See Zachary's Facebook page.

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2010. Building Personal Strength . (Photo from Zachary's Facebook page)

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