Linstant Leader
What we can learn from Jeremy Lin's sudden rise to leadership.

Normally, February is the dullest month in the sports calendar. The NFL season concluded with the Super Bowl. March Madness is not yet on the horizon. Pitchers and catchers haven't reported. And games in the interminably long basketball and hockey seasons feel meaningless.

But not this year. This February has been more exciting than ever, dominated by Linsanity, the phenomenon surrounding the improbable rise of New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin.

In his first six games in the starting lineup, Lin has been unstoppable. He scored more points than any other NBA player ever had in his first five starts. In his fifth game, Lin hit a game-winning three pointer with less than a second left on the clock. In his sixth start, he had a career-high thirteen assists. Six starts, six wins. It has been Linsane.

The Lin story is so compelling, not just because of the endless puns based on his name or what he has accomplished on the court, but also because of who he is as a person and the road he has traveled to get to this point.

Lin is Taiwanese-American, the very rare American born Asian player to make an NBA roster. He went to Harvard University, which is not exactly known as a basketball powerhouse. In fact, he is the first Harvard graduate to play in the NBA since 1954. When people imagine great basketball players, they don't normally picture an Asian-American from Harvard.

Lin was undrafted coming into the league, but was able to work his way onto an NBA roster last year. This season, Lin was cut from two other teams before ending up on the Knicks bench. He was reportedly just five games from being let go by the Knicks as well, before an injury forced him into the lineup. Linsanity is proof that he has made the most of his opportunity.

The meteoric rise of Jeremy Lin from unheralded, undrafted benchwarmer to international sensation is nothing short of remarkable. ESPN analyst Tony Kornheiser captured the sentiment while discussing Lin on his radio show, "The thing that stands out is how this guy has gone from non-factor, on the bench, not even going to play, to without question, the leader of a team."

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February 27, 2012

Displaying 1–3 of 3 comments


March 07, 2012  10:00am

Jeremy Lin sets a great example for Christians because he is engaging the world with the talents God has given him. Clearly he is not merely a special athlete, but a gifted student having graduated from Harvard. He loves God with all his strength and mind and has developed his God-given strengths to the highest level. It is encouraging to see that Lin's persistence and passion was not in vain. Lin was faithful with his talents and God has blessed made his ways prosper under the biggest spotlight.

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Linda Stoll

February 28, 2012  7:21am

Any "meteoric rise," any instant "international sensation," puts an incredible amount of pressure on anyone who is fortunate {or not so much} to be placed in that position. The intense, relentless spotlight on this young man to perform/succeed/shine/live his faith/placate the media/break all records will be relentless. One can only pray that he will be strong enough to withstand the pressure and emerge through the gauntlet of fame and fortune with his faith, integrity, and sanity intact. I wish him well ...

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February 27, 2012  4:13pm

Lin's senior year in high school, my son's high school team played them in a tournament. My son was assigned to guard him. Even though my son did well our team got creamed. Palo Alto was very well coached and went on to win 1st place in the whole state. Lin was not a hog ball, which made the whole team shine.

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