Jeremy Lin

From sleeping on his brother’s couch as the new, undrafted member of the New York Knicks to becoming a worldwide sensation, Jeremy Lin’s journey to stardom was pure “Linsanity.” As much as people praise him for taking the Knicks’ starting point guard job and running with it, the “Taiwanese Tebow” would rather give the glory to God instead.

Early Years
Raised by Taiwanese immigrants Lin Gie-Ming and Shirley Lin in a Christian home, Jeremy Lin gained the faith and foundation that would serve as the building blocks that anchored his future. Lin’s Christianity grew tremendously as a teenager thanks to Pastor Stephen Chen of Redeemer Bible Fellowship in Mountain View, CA. Chen taught Lin and his two brothers about the Bible in exchange for basketball lessons.

As Lin’s faith matured, so did his basketball skills. As a high school senior, Team Captain Jeremy Lin led Palo Alto High’s basketball squad to a state title. Unable to get a scholarship from UCLA, Stanford or the University of California, the Asian Sensation took his talents to Harvard University upon an offer of a guaranteed roster spot.

Lin impressed as a sophomore, but took the NCAA’s Ivy League Division by storm as a junior. The Harvard Crimson baller’s 17.8 points and 2.4 steals per game were enough to earn an All-Ivy League First Team selection in his third year. After leading the winningest team in Harvard’s history at that time (21 wins) as a senior, he coasted to his second All-Ivy League First Team selection.

Basketball was not the only highlight of the Harvard economics grad’s collegiate career. As a co-leader of the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Christian Fellowship, Lin was able to surround himself with others who were seeking God. So much spiritual fruit was evident in Lin’s life that even his non-believing teammates asked him to lead them in Bible study.

NBA Struggles
Lin entered the 2010 NBA Draft, but went undrafted despite his collegiate success. Fortunately, he was able to spend a portion of 2010 with the Dallas Mavericks in mini-camp and summer basketball. One Summer League game, where Lin outdueled the 2010 first overall pick John Wall, was all it took for Lin to sign his first NBA deal with his favorite childhood team, the Golden State Warriors. Lin’s struggling shot prevented him from leaving the bench and sent him down to the NBA’s Development League three times as a Warrior. The 2010-2011 All-NBA D-League Showcase First Team member was let go from Golden State on December 9, 2011. The Houston Rockets scooped up Lin on December 12, only to can him on Christmas Eve after giving him seven preseason minutes to prove himself. But, whenever the illusory hopelessness of his NBA situation crept in, Lin whispered Romans 8:28 to himself: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

On December 27, the New York Knicks grabbed Lin from free agency to add depth to their ailing backcourt and placed him fourth on the point guard depth chart. However, on January 17, 2012, Lin was sent back to the D-League. Lin told Mercury News’ Marcus Thompson II in an interview that, at that point, his frustration started a spiritual war within himself. “Whine. Complain. Whine. Complain. But the other side of me was thinking, ‘My God is all powerful.’” Three days later, Lin demolished the opposing D-League competition by posting 28 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists, prompting the Knicks to call him up on January 23.

The 8-15 Knicks played so poorly in a February 3 beatdown by the Boston Celtics that coach Mike D’Antoni threw Lin into the fray in the fourth quarter purely out of desperation. The next day, the Knicks’ main superstar Carmelo Anthony lobbied D’Antoni to let Lin run the offense in the second half of their bout with the New Jersey Nets. Lin responded to the extra minutes by supplying the Knicks with 25 points. Shortly thereafter, Lin’s 28-point performance to lead the Knicks to victory over the Utah Jazz – without stars Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire – prompted Coach D’Antoni to “ride Lin like freakin’ Secretariat”.

After being named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week, Lin buried a last-second three to defeat the Toronto Raptors, driving Lakers forward Metta World Peace to yell “Linsanity!” at reporters. And thus Linsanity was born. Lin described his newfound fame in relation to his faith by saying, “There is so much temptation to hold on to my career even more now … But that’s not how I want to do things anymore. I’m thinking about how can I trust God more. How can I surrender more? How can I bring him more glory? It’s a fight. But it’s one I’m going to keep fighting.”

The Knicks had an 8 game winning streak and won 9 of the 12 games in which Lin started before the All-Star break, thanks to his 22.5 points and 8.7 assists per game. A torn meniscus suffered during a March 24 clash with the Detroit Pistons ended Lin’s season and tenure as a Knick. The Houston Rockets officially acquired Lin on July 13, 2012 after offering a heavily-backloaded contract to scare away the Knicks from matching the offer and re-signing him.

Jeremy Lin recognizes the unique opportunity God has blessed Him with, but does not stop there. He realizes that he must use the gift he has received to glorify his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and spread the gospel. “It’s a platform I’ve been given … I want to be real. I don’t want to have a false image. I want people to see who I am and what God has done in my life.”

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