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Although he hasn’t had a career to match that of Yao Ming, it’s indisputable that Jeremy Lin is one of the best-known and most successful Asian athletes that American sports fans have come to know.

Lin seemingly came out of nowhere to become a sensation during the 2011-12 season with the New York Knicks. He’s gone on to play 480 NBA games and is looking for another shot after playing the 2019-20 season overseas.

Jeremy Lin shot to stardom in the NBA after a quiet start

Undrafted coming out of college in 2010, guard Jeremy Lin signed with the Golden State Warriors but split time between the Warriors, averaging 2.6 points over 29 games, and their D-League affiliate. When Golden State waived him in the offseason, Lin caught on with the Houston Rockets but didn’t make the roster for the 2011-2012 season, which was shortened by a labor dispute.

The development proved fortuitous for Lin. He was picked up by the New York Knicks featuring Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, and J.R. Smith, and Lin played sparingly in nine games before his breakout game. On Feb. 4, 2012, against the New Jersey Nets, Lin shot 10-for-19 on his way to 25 points. He added seven assists and five rebounds in 36 minutes of action.

Over the next three games, all wins, Lin shot 32 of 54 from the field to total 89 points. Lin averaged 24.4 points during a seven-game winning streak, and “Linsanity” become a national sensation.

That started Lin on a journey that would take him to six more teams over the next seven seasons, beginning with averaging 13.4 points for the 2012-13 Houston Rockets. He played for the Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors in the 2018-19 season but couldn’t find a place in the league this season.

Lin moved to China to play for the Beijing Ducks, averaging 22.3 points and 5.6 assists. According to the New York Post, reports from China have the Golden State Warriors interested in bringing Lin, 32, back to the NBA.

He wasn’t heavily recruited out of high school

Jeremy Lin, the son of Taiwanese immigrants, began his journey to pro basketball stardom in Palo Alto, California. During his senior year at Palo Alto High, Lin averaged 15.1 points, 7.1 assists, and 6.2 rebounds for a 32-1 squad that won a California Interscholastic Federation championship.

Lin earned a slew of individual honors, including first-team all-state and Northern California Division II Player of the Year, though that did not translate into more than casual major-college interest. Lin was also a star in the classroom, and he targeted renowned academic colleges to continue his education.

When Cal-Berkeley and nearby Stanford only offered walk-on offers, Lin focused on the Ivy League, where Brown and Harvard guaranteed him roster spots. Longtime Harvard coach Frank Sullivan ultimately won out.

Jeremy Lin was a star at Harvard

Lin averaged 12.6 points as a Harvard sophomore on an 8-22 team for new coach Tommy Amaker to earn second-team All-Ivy League honors. As a junior, Lin averaged 17.8 points and was also in the top 10 in the conference in assists, steals, and shooting percentage to make the Ivy League first team.

As a senior in 2009-10, Lin played on Harvard’s first 20-win team since the 1945-46 season. He averaged 16.4 points and 4.5 assists to repeat on the All-Ivy League team and was a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award.

Lin finished his career with 1,483 points and 406 assists, and he graduated with a degree in economics.

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Jeremy Lin Is Worth a Lot of Money After Captivating the World With ‘Linsanity’