Jeremy Lin


Working at Becoming My Very Best

My name is Jeremy Shu-How Lin. I was born August 23, 1988, and I am an American professional basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). I unexpectedly led a winning turnaround for the New York Knicks in 2012, which generated a global following known as "Linsanity."

I grew up in a Christian family, but I didn’t live the Christian life. Christianity didn’t make sense. I was the class clown, a bully, and a showoff. My brother and I would play pranks on our nanny. One day we went to a restaurant, and I picked up a handful of toothpicks. We took those toothpicks and stuck them in the cushion of our nanny’s favorite chair while she was taking a shower and then took a nap. After two hours of waiting, I got bored and went into the living room to watch television. I flopped down in our nanny’s chair and sat on those toothpicks. It drew blood. That’s the kind of kid I was. In the fifth grade, I would go to class and make the teacher cry.

My parents, Lin Gie-Ming and Shirley Lin, emigrated from Taiwan to the United States in the mid-1970s, settling first in Virginia before moving to Indiana, where they both attended universities. They have dual citizenship in the nations of Taiwan and the U.S. My paternal family is the Hoklo people from Beidou, Changhua, Taiwan, while my maternal grandmother immigrated to Taiwan in the late 1940s from Pinghu, Zhejiang, in mainland China.

My parents are both 5 feet 6 inches (1.68 m) tall. My maternal grandmother's family was tall, and her father was  6 feet tall (1.83 m). My older brother, Josh, and a younger brother, Joseph, were shorter. Gie-Ming taught his sons to play basketball at the local YMCA. Shirley helped form a National Junior Basketball program in Palo Alto where I played. She worked with coaches to ensure my playing did not affect academics. She was criticized by her friends for letting me play so much basketball, the game I enjoyed.

In the ninth grade, I joined a youth group, got baptized, and my life began to change. We had Christian fellowship. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and earned Northern California Player of the Year honors as a senior in high school. During my senior year in 2005–2006, I captained Palo Alto High School to a 32–1 record and upset the nationally ranked Mater Dei, 51–47, for the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division II state title. I was named first-team All-State and Northern California Division II Player of the Year, and ended my senior year averaging 15.1 points, 7.1 assists, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.0 steals. After receiving no athletic scholarship offers, I attended Harvard University, where I was a three-time All-Conference player in the Ivy League. My first year and a half at Harvard, I struggled. I did not have a community or fellowship. My only outside activity was basketball. Then I joined the Asian/American Christian Fellowship. My faith started to grow again.

   A Harvard coach remembered me in my freshman season as "the [physically] weakest guy on the team," but in my sophomore season (2007–08), I averaged 12.6 points and was named to the All-Ivy League Second Team. By my junior year during the 2008–09 season, I was the only NCAA Division I men's basketball player who ranked in the top ten in his conference for scoring (17.8), rebounding (5.5), assists (4.3), steals (2.4), blocked shots (0.6), field goal percentage (0.502), free throw percentage (0.744), and three-point shot percentage (0.400). I was a consensus selection for the All-Ivy League First Team. I made 27 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds in an 82–70 win over the 17th-ranked Boston College Eagles, three days after the Eagles defeated number one North Carolina.

In my senior year (2009–10), I averaged 16.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.4 steals, and 1.1 blocks, and was again a unanimous selection for the All-Ivy League First Team. I was one of 30 midseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award and one of eleven finalists for the Bob Cousy Award. I was also invited to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. Fran Fraschilla of ESPN named me as one of the twelve most versatile players in college basketball. I gained national attention for my performance against the 12th-ranked Connecticut Huskies, as I scored a career-high 30 points and grabbed 9 rebounds on the road. After the game, Hall of Fame Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said of me: "I've seen a lot of teams come through here, and he could play for any of them. He's got great, great composure on the court. He knows how to play."
For the season, Harvard set numerous program records including wins (21), non-conference wins (11), home wins (11) and road/neutral wins (10). I finished my career as the first player in the history of the Ivy League to record at least 1,450 points (1,483), 450 rebounds (487), 400 assists (406), and 200 steals (225). I graduated from Harvard in 2010 with a degree in economics and a 3.1 grade-point average.

Undrafted out of college, I reached a partially guaranteed contract deal in 2010 with my hometown Golden State Warriors. I was on a high. I had lots of media, McDonald’s, friends on Facebook. However, I was down on the depth chart. I would play when we were twenty points down. I put a lot of pressure on myself and worried about my performance and playing time. What would I do if I was cut? What would I tell my agent, friends, and parents? I was twenty-one years old and wondered why I signed with San Francisco. Basketball consumed my happiness. It took my joy. I was overwhelmed with fear, worry, and anxiety. I needed help. I needed to trust God and give all my fear, worry, anxiety, and problems to Jesus Christ. I needed internal relief. I needed the “Fruits of the Spirit” returned to me – love, peace, joy, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The more I pressed into Christ, the greater my relationship grew in Jesus. I discovered my identity was in Christ and not basketball. I was finally set free.

I seldom played in my rookie season, and I was assigned to the NBA Development League (D-League) three times. I was waived by the Warriors and the Houston Rockets the following preseason before joining the New York Knicks early in the 2011–12 season. I continued to be played sparingly and again spent time in the D-League. In February 2012, I led a winning streak by New York while being promoted to the starting lineup. In the summer of 2012, I signed a three-year contract with the Rockets, for whom I played two seasons. I played with Yao Ming, the 'emperor' of Houston and Chinese basketball. I was 6’3” and barely reached his shoulders.   After my second season with the Rockets, I was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. I played one season with the Lakers before signing with the Charlotte Hornets. I signed with Brooklyn the following season. Jesus Christ had restored my peace and joy.


Jeremy Lin Hearing His Voice Testimony

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