Just seven years ago Jeremy Lin was a high school basketball player at Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto, California trying to get noticed. Even after leading his high school team to a 32-2 record his junior year, and a 32-1 record his senior season, Lin did not receive any athletic scholarships. His senior season he even led his team to a California Interscholastic Federation Division II state title over nationally ranked Mater Dei High School. Lin also sent highlight videos to the University of California, Stanford University, the University of California Los Angeles, and every school in the Ivy League. However, no athletic scholarships were given to Lin. Ivy League schools cannot give athletic scholarships, so the only opportunity for Lin to receive a scholarship in the Ivy League was through an academic scholarship. Lin could certainly obtain an academic scholarship, as he earned a 4.2 GPA in high school. Harvard University and Brown University were the only schools that guaranteed Lin a spot on their teams. Lin would choose the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, Harvard.
While at Harvard, Lin appeared in 115 games during his four year career, which is the most games played by one player in Harvard history. Lin also became the first player in Ivy League history to record 1,450 points, 450 rebounds, 400 assists, and 200 steals. All-time at Harvard, Lin ranks first in games played (115), fifth in points (1,483), fifth in assists (406), and second in steals (225). He was one of 11 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award as a senior. The Bob Cousy Award is given to the top collegiate male basketball point guard in the country each year. Lin did not win the award, but it was still an extreme honor to even be considered. Once his time at Harvard ended, Lin entered the NBA draft.
On draft day Lin awaited the call by an NBA team saying that he was now a member of their franchise. Unfortunately for Lin, no call came his way as he went undrafted. Lin was invited to join the Dallas Mavericks in the 2010 Vegas Summer League. Following the 2010 Vegas Summer League, Lin received a two-year offer as a free agent to sign with his hometown Golden State Warriors, which he of course took. He made the 2010-11 opening day roster for the Warriors. However, Lin was sent down to Golden State’s NBA D-League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns. On the first day of training camp following the 2011 NBA lockout, Lin was placed on waivers by the Warriors. The Houston Rockets claimed Lin but placed him on waivers before the start of the 2011-12 NBA season.
Lin was quickly picked up by the New York Knicks just 12 days before the start of the season. However, on January 17, 2012 the Knicks sent Lin down to the D-League to play with the Erie BayHawks. In his first game with Erie, Lin recorded a triple-double, posting 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists. Immediately, Lin was recalled by New York. In a game against the New Jersey Nets on February 4th, Lin came off the bench and scored 25 points while dishing out seven assists, and tearing down five rebounds. New York head coach Mike D’Antoni was forced to start Lin the following game against the Utah Jazz. In 45 minutes of play, Lin scored 28 points and had eight assists. This started getting Lin into the spotlight as he led the Knicks to two straight wins. Against the Washington Wizards, just two days after his outburst against the Jazz, Lin poured in 23 points while tallying 10 assists in a 107-93 win. Quickly Lin was on every NBA team’s radar after leading the Knicks to three straight wins and scoring over 20 points in each of those games.
People began to wonder if Lin could keep up his unbelievable performances, because he had not played against any elite NBA franchises yet. Lin’s next game would come against the Los Angeles Lakers, one of the greatest NBA franchises of all-time. If he did not have a good performance against the Lakers, his past three games would be considered a fluke. Lin silenced all of the critics by having the best game of his short NBA career to date. A 38 point performance while handing out seven assists in a 92-85 win over Los Angeles on ESPN was certainly a way to impress the sports world. Lin even outscored Kobe Bryant, who poured in 34 points for the Lakers. The Harvard alumnus’ 38 points is currently the highest point total by any member of the New York Knicks this season, pretty good for a guy who plays on the same team as Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.
After everything that Lin has been through in his basketball career, you have to root for the kid. He is putting on a show for the ages with this streak he is on. He has the most points by any player in their first four starts in NBA history since the ABA/NBA merger in 1976-77. Through his first four starts Lin posted 109 points, beating the previous record of 101 set by future Hall of Famer, Allen Iverson. Nobody knows how Lin’s career will play out, and if he can keep up his stellar play. But, we do know that he is rapidly becoming the most popular athlete in New York City. In a city filled with superstar athletes, this unknown kid from Harvard has emerged as a rising star in the Big Apple.