Jeremy Lin Story About So Much More Than Race
Jeremy Lin has been catapulted from unwanted obscurity to international sensation almost overnight. Being one of the few Asian Americans in the National Basketball Association and the first American player in the NBA to be of Chinese and Taiwanese descent Lin has been subjected to more racially charged media in the sports world than I have ever seen in my lifetime. However if you delve into the information on Lin you will see the Jeremy Lin story is about so much more than race.
The Jeremy Lin story starts in Palo Alto High School where he captained his team to a 32-1 record and upset nationally ranked Mater Dei 51-47 for the California Interscholastic Federation Division 11 state title. Lin was named first-team All-State and Northern California Division 11 Player of the Year and ended his senior season averaging 15.1 points, 7.1 assists, 6.2 rebounds, and 5 steals per game.
Jeremy sent out video highlights of his Palo Alto High School career to all the Ivy League schools in hopes of playing for a big time college program with his dream schools being Stanford and University of California. Many schools wanted him to “ walk-on “ rather than be recruited or offered a sports scholarship. Harvard and Brown were the only teams that guaranteed him a spot on their teams, however Ivy League schools do not offer athletic scholarships. Lin not being as he states “ freakishly athletic” certainly hurt his hopes of being recruited for a big time school.
In 2005 Harvard started to really take note of Jeremy Lin’s abilities and actively pursued the young man hoping that Stanford of UCLA would not beat them out by offering Lin a scholarship. Both did not and UCLA assistant Kerry Keating stated in hindsight that Lin probably would have started at PG for UCLA. This brought Jeremy to Harvard for his college career where he averaged 12.6 points per game making the All-Ivy League Second Team in his sophomore season 2007-2008. In his season year Jeremy Lin averaged 16.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.4 steals, and 1.1 blocked shots per game and had been once again selected for the All-Ivy League First team as he was his Junior year.
Lin finished his Harvard career setting a bunch of program records including wins 21, non-conference wins 11, home wins 11, and road/neutral wins 10, and was 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 graduated Harvard in 2010 with a degree in economics and a 3.1 grade-point average.
Going undrafted in the 2010 NBA draft Lin would end up becoming the first Harvard player in the league since Ed Smith in 1954 when he signed with the Golden State Warriors. He was later demoted to the D league and finished he rookie season averaging just 2.6 points no 38.9% shooting in 29 games. Golden State then released him before the 2011 before training camp would start and before his contract would have guaranteed him close to $800,000. In December Lin was claimed off waivers by the Houston Rockets where he played seven minutes in two preseason games before being let go to clear up money for center Samuel Dalembert.
Then on December 27ththe New York Knicks picked up Jeremy Lin and after a brash of injuries and poor performing coach Mike D’Antoni gave Lin a chance to play after a blown lead in the 4th quarter led to a loss to Boston. Afterwards Mike D’Antoni stated “ He got lucky because we were playing so bad” little did he know just how lucky the Knicks and himself would end up becoming. Jeremy Lin would then go on to become the world sensation we know him today, and not because he is of Chinese or Taiwanese decent but because he is a hard working and determined young man that would not let any obstacles take him from his dream.
He has been absolutely abused by the media with terrible derogatory statements all the way from a awful racial slur by ESPN’s Max Bretos who subsequently was fired for the statement. To having the size of his man-hood questioned by Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock because of his ethnicity, and Floyd Mayweather chiming in with outlandish statements not even worth quoting. Analysts, reporters, and prize-fighters please please understand the Jeremy Lin story is about so much more than race, appreciate it for what it is, a hard working young man that would not take no for an answer and would not be denied his dream. In fact Jeremy Lin is showing all of America that the “ American Dream” is in fact not dead, that with hard work, determination, and a never say die attitude you to can achieve your dreams. All the while doing so smiling and remaining humble under the spotlights ….. keep smiling Jeremy Lin!
” It Is Only A Game, Until You Bet It “