Jeremy Shuhao Lin has taken the New York City sports world by storm these last few days. The Knicks’ third-string point guard, he has started the last two games and responded with a combined 53 points and 15 assists. Only 23, the 6’3″ (190.5 cm) point guard graduated from Harvard and has kicked around the league for over a year before getting his big chance and making the most of it.
Jeremy’s parents emigrated from Taiwan. His father’s family is from Beidou, Changhua while his mother’s family came to Taiwan from Zhejiang province in China. Both are 5’6″ (167.6 cm) tall but luckily he grew far beyond that.
From Palo Alto, California, Lin led Palo Alto High School to the State Championship, upsetting powerhouse Mater Dei. Though a virtually unanimous choice for California Player of the Year, the PAC-10 schools would only take him as a walk-on so he decided on Harvard, where they do not offer athletic scholarships. In his junior and senior years, he was First Team All-Ivy League and one of the best players in the country.
So did he get drafted? Jeremy Lin is one of those players that doesn’t stand out on the first look but the more you see of him, the more he impresses. The scheduled workouts weren’t his forte; he is the consummate team player that sees the entire floor and makes the right decisions to make all his teammates better. He finally signed with the Golden State Warriors, his home town team and the crowd loved him though his minutes were few. He ended up in the D-League and was disappointed in his rookie season where he averaged 2.6 points in 29 games.
Waived by the Warriors to free up money, he bounced from the Houston Rockets to the New York Knicks, when he was claimed shortly after Christmas, played a bit, was sent down to the D-League once more and finally called up as the third string point guard.
Then everything changed. Coach Mike D’Antoni, frustrated with his team’s poor guard play, decided to start Lin against the Nets on February 4th and all his did was score 25 points, snap up 5 rebounds and hand out 7 assists with only one turnover in a 99-92 victory. More importantly, he got his teammates involved, getting the ball to his scorers and creating movement in the offense. In his next game, he went for 28 points and 8 assists in a Knicks win over the Jazz.
Can he keep it up? The rest of the league will develop a book on him but what he does is spread the floor and run the pick and roll, something the Knicks have been lacking this year. He can take it to the rim and though his scoring will decrease once star Carmelo Anthony comes back from injury, that will only make the team better. No one knows if this is a shot in the dark or a coming of age, only time will tell but right now Knicks fans (including me) couldn’t be happier.