USJ Alumni Stories | Paul Chan - Persevere for love, persist for your dreams





Paul Chan, one of the original members of the University of Saint Joseph’s first basketball team.

For all those who love the sport, basketball is a way of life. Paul regards basketball as an integral part of what it means to be alive. Recalling his time at University of Saint Joseph (USJ), he describes it as a time of “hot-blooded” devotion.

Paul is a 2016 graduate of USJ’s Bachelor of Business Administration from when courses for that programme were held at the NAPE Campus. Since the basketball facilities at the NAPE Campus did not meet the requirements of standard basketball courts, due to the limited space available at that time, students needed to book other courts or play at public courts for practice. In response to students’ increased needs, USJ specially renovated the school campus basketball courts so that students could use them for training and practice. The new facilities greatly encouraged the basketball team, and they cherish the ability to play in their hard-earned stadium.

The euphoria of basketball in one’s youth is bound up with pouring sweat on the court, giving high-fives after a play, cheering in victory, comforting in defeat. During Paul’s playing days at USJ, the team began participating in intercollegiate basketball competitions and performed unsatisfactorily because they lacked organized practice. Losing did not lead to discouragement, though. Through an unyielding spirit of dedication they learned from each game and continued to discuss and reflect on improvement after the game, which led to consistent breakthroughs and progress. Each of them fought towards a common goal because of a passion for basketball and the shared conviction that perseverance will not abandon hard work, and sweat will not forsake talent.

The team’s dedication and improvement caught the school’s attention and inspired their full support. In order to enhance the team’s practice, the University sought out and hired the head coach of the Macau basketball team, Andrew Wong, to train the team. The Macau Foundation and the then Higher Education Bureau  provided the team with generous financial support. At that time, funding from the then Higher Education Bureau sponsored the team to travel to Taiwan for training camp to raise the team’s ceiling. The days at training camp were full of hard work and sweat, and to Paul they formed an “unforgettable era of my life.” No matter how hard or tiring the training was, they always supported and encouraged each other with a spirit of perseverance.

Paul expounded on the meaning of basketball. He said that basketball taught him: “Just because people can be defeated by opponents, that doesn’t mean they must be easily defeated.” For Paul and his teammates, basketball is life, love, the roar of victory, and commitment to never being discouraged after defeat. It is blood, faith, tears, and the most precious thing in their youth.