MOA Arena
October 9, 2013

This is about Jeremy Lin. It’s not about the film of the same title that chronicled his rise to becoming a global icon in and out the basketball court. Honestly, haven’t watched the film. Yet. But I know the path Lin took before his legend grew.
The Chinese-American or Taiwanese-American, if you’re hiding in a cave, is now the face of Asian basketball. Post Yao Ming era. If the Great Wall of Yao trailblazed it, Lin is continuing the journey. Sportsmaryosep was lucky enough to not just meet Lin in person but also sit beside him while getting to pop some questions myself.
Unlike Yao, Lin was accomodating. Smiled definitely more. Shook hands with the media guys a lot of times. Tirelessly granted interviews. The dude is adorable. He blew everyone away. Including Sportsmaryosep. Lin, by the way, is here in the Philippines along with the Houston Rockets to play the Indiana Pacers in an NBA pre-season game on Thursday at the MOA Arena in Pasay City as part of the NBA Global Games which feature 12 games outside the United States and Canada. Interestingly, this will be the first time an NBA game, even if its just pre-season, will be played on our soil. We will be witness to history again. And thank you NBA.
But what did Lin do that made him endearing not just to Asians and Filipinos but the rest of the world? In simple terms, he overcame stereotyping and racism on his way to where he is right now. He’s a role-model to us all who are trying everyday to overcome odds and challenges.
Lin started his career by not getting a single athletic scholarship offers after high school. Made it to Harvard and made its basketball team. He went undrafted when turned pro and bounced from the Golden State Warriors to the NBA Developmental League and back and then to the Houston Rockets, ironically his club now, before ending up with the New York Knicks. In New York, he started out as a third or fourth-string point guard before finally getting the starting job a couple of years ago. And then comes this incredible streak that Lin spearheaded as New York climbed out of an 8-15 (win-loss) hole before ending up gatecrashing to the playoffs. That’s where this global phenomenon named “Linsanity” was born.
And here’s what Lin said about inspiring people: “I’m thankful for the opportunity to inspire people not just Asians. I want them to see that dreams do come true if you keep the faith and continue to persevere.”
Proud to say that I’m now officially his fan and will try to snag him in all the fantasy basketball league’s I’m joining.
And I will probably name by first born son Jeremy Lin. Nicknamed Linsanity.
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar

(Photo by Joel Orellana of Business Mirror)


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