Name: Jeremy Lin aka Linsanity - Harvard graduate, former NBA player, professional basketball player, Asian American sporting ambassador
Scale of Notoriety: 4/5 - A former NBA starting point guard who has graced the cover of world-renowned magazines such as Sports Illustrated and Time magazine, Jeremy Lin is a recognizable face and name to many in the sports industry and beyond. His rise to fame came in 2012 when he unexpectedly turned around a struggling New York Knicks team and saved their season over a string of 26 games generating a global phenomenon known as Linsanity.
Scale of Influence: 5/5 - Although his basketball hey-day is behind him, he leaves a lasting impact on the NBA and sports culture, especially as a trailblazer for aspiring Asian athletes. Jeremy’s story is a classic underdog tale of perseverance and resilience which resulted in him becoming the face of Asian athletes in America.
Born: 23 August 1988
Status: Currently playing for the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association.
Background: Jeremy Lin is a first generation Taiwanese-American who was born in California as the middle child between two other brothers. His parents are both Taiwnese who emigrated to the US in the mid 1970’s in search of a better education and life. His parent’s work ethic and values towards education was instilled in Jeremy at a young age where he showed promise in both academics and sport. As children, Jeremy’s Dad would take the three brothers to the local YMCA to teach them basketball, and it wasn't long until Jeremy was dominating his local highschool basketball scene. In his senior year of highschool Jeremy had started establishing himself as a legitimate basketball talent and had captained his team to a 32-1 record whilst winning the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division II state title. After graduating highschool Jeremy attended Harvard University where he was offered a place on their basketball team. Jeremy perfected the balance between academics and sport and after a successful 4 year college career he graduated in 2010 with a degree in economics (with a 3.1 GPA) and as a three time all-conference player.
Jeremy declared for the NBA draft in 2010 but unfortunately was not drafted by any teams. Jeremy would bounce around between teams and the NBA G league (minor league) over the course of the 2010- 2011 season. However Jeremy persevered with his goal to become an NBA player and by the end of 2011 Jeremy had been signed by a struggling New York Knicks franchise. A small victory to get back onto an NBA roster where Jeremy just needed an opportunity to show how good he could be. Although he was at the end of the roster and received very limited playing time, a fateful string of injuries to the Knicks team would lead Jeremy to generate one of the biggest cultural phenomenons in the modern sporting world… LINSANITY!
Over a stretch of 26 games, Jeremy defied all expectations, breaking into the spotlight and shocking the league with a string of sensational scoring performances leading his team on several winning streaks. He single handedly turned around the Knicks season and seemingly overnight became the face of one of the biggest sports franchises in the world. The hype permeated the sports world and became a global craze as people got behind the underdog story of Jeremy Lin especially as a representative of Asians stars in classically Western sport.
His ancestral roots can be traced back to the indigenous Hoklo Taiwanese people on the paternal side of his family and his maternal side was originally from Pinghu, Zhejiang in mainland China before migrating to Taiwan in the 1940’s.
Brains and Brawns: Not only did Jeremy attend and graduate from the one and only Harvard (one of the most prestigious universities in the world!) He is the only Harvard player to make the NBA since 1954.
Resilience: Lin not only faced hardship from being undrafted, continuously getting cut from teams and bouncing around the league from team to team. But also faced discrimination from bigoted and racist comments from opposing teams fans and even in the media
Haircuts... subjective really lol
Consistency: As amazing as the Linsanity era was, Jeremy failed to stay consistently good enough to earn a roster spot on an NBA team. This was largely in part due to a series of unfortunate injuries.
Special Talents: Jeremy has also recently unearthed his musical talents. Collaborating with Asian-American rapper MC Jin to make the single “First opponent”.
Christopher McMaster is a final year Chinese Australian student studying Biotechnology and Marketing at the University of Technology Sydney. He enjoys exploring his own Chinese heritage as well as other Asian cultures that have influenced the multicultural experiences of Sydney.