You’ve probably heard about Knicks’ point guard Jeremy Lin, who has taken the NBA by storm after coming out of nowhere to help the Knicks win. He’s the first Asian player since Yao Ming to make this kind of noise in the NBA. What you might not know is that his journey to stardom has been the quintessential American Dream.
Jeremy was born to Taiwanese immigrants in Palo Alto, California. His father taught him and his brothers to play basketball at the local YMCA. Jeremy captained his Palo Alto high school team to a 32-1 record and the CIF Division II state title, as well as earning Northern California Division II Player of the Year for himself.
Despite his stellar play in high school, Lin received no athletic scholarships for college, and decided to go to Harvard. In his senior year he led Harvard to their best season ever, and finished his career as the first player in the history of the Ivy League to record at least 1,450 points (1,483), 450 rebounds (487), 400 assists (406) and 200 steals (225). He got his degree in Economics, with a 3.1 GPA.
Sixty players were drafted to the NBA in 2010, and Jeremy was not one of them. Only one team, the Dallas Mavericks, invited him to play in the Summer League. Lin played decently, and in one game outshined 1st pick John Wall. He turned enough heads to get a deal, and in July of 2010 signed with his hometown Golden State Warriors. In the home exhibition opener, with fans chanting his name in unison, he became the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA.
Jeremy didn’t play well enough to stay on the Warriors’ roster, and was sent down to the D-League to continue training. He saw it as an opportunity to grow, and was named to the All-NBA D-League Showcase First Team on January 14, 2011. After the NBA lockout, the Warriors decided to let Lin go in order to free up salary cap space. He was then signed by the Houston Rockets, who shortly after waived him as well to sign another player. The New York Knicks decided to claim Jeremy after an injury to their backup point guard Iman Shumpert. Again Lin was sent down to the D-League, where on January 20 he had a triple-double with 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists. The Knicks called him back up to the NBA.
On February 4, 2012, Jeremy scored 25 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, and dished out 7 assists (against only 1 turnover) in a Knicks win over the Nets. They were career highs in points, rebounds, and assists. In the next game against the Jazz, he scored 28 points and had 8 assists. As I write this, he is playing with 10 points (on 5-8 shooting) and 8 assists at halftime against the Wizards.
Jeremy is 23 years old, and he calls playing in the NBA “a dream come true.”