American dream: young Hong Kong hopefuls try to impress scouts from top US universities
Sixty-five players take part in the event, hoping they will be chosen for a scholarship in Hong Kong’s first-ever ID Showcase
Talented midfielder Jordan Lam Lok-kun turned up on Tuesday at Happy Valley hoping to impress coaches so he could have the opportunity to play and study in the United States.
Lam was one of scores of Hong Kong young hopefuls who took part in Tuesday’s 2018 Sportsync ID Showcase, a soccer scouting event, which was held for the first time in Hong Kong.
The Showcase was attended by overseas coaches from seven American institutes, headed by Brown University, a member of the Ivy League, to offer scholarships to selected potential players.
The 19-year-old Lam started playing for Hong Kong Premier side Pegasus last year after returning from a short training spell with England League One side Bury and the midfielder is hopeful he had done enough to impress the scouts and fulfil his dream of having a bright future in a top US university.
“It’s always important for a modern player to excel in both sport and studies,” said the Hong Kong Under-23 international. “The Showcase offers a very good opportunity and I would like to try my luck in the United States if they offer me a scholarship.
“But there is no pressure on me as I treated this match as any other training game. If they select me, I would be very happy to accept it. If not, I will sit for the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary School examination next year to see if I can get the necessary qualifications to enter a local university.”
Jointly organised by Affinity Sports & Education and Sportsync, the Showcase featured 65 potential players, who were involved in four matches at the Hong Kong Football Club ground in Happy Valley.
Organiser Michael Luk Chi-ho, a midfielder with Premier League side Southern, said he would like to lend his own experience to give more opportunities to local soccer talent.
“This is the first time we have a Showcase in Hong Kong and not too many people are familiar with the scheme here,” said the Hong Kong international, who was raised in Canada before a soccer scholarship took him to St John University in New York. “I have gained a lot through this kind of scholarship and would like to see more people from Hong Kong benefit from it.
“These universities are among the top-ranked colleges in the US and they can help shape their lives, especially if one is selected.”
The six other overseas universities who joined the Showcase were Elon University, Johns Hopkins University, Lehigh University, Washington University (St Louis), Kenyon College and Carroll University. Two local tertiary institutes – the University of Hong Kong and Chinese University – also took part on Tuesday.