OAKLAND, UNITED STATES // Jeremy Lin has become one of the most unique players in the NBA: a Chinese-American point guard who graduated from Harvard. Lin signed a two-year contract with the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, and is expected to be in the competition to back up Stephen Curry at point guard. Harvard is widely considered the top academic school in the United States, but it is not known as a breeding ground for professional athletes. Especially in the game of basketball.
If Lin gets onto the court, he will be the first Harvard alumnus to play in an NBA game since 1953. He also would be the first ethnic Chinese to play the guard position in the NBA. The league has had several Chinese players over the past decade, but all of them have been seven-footers such as Yao Ming and Yi Jianling. "I understand there are not many Asians in the NBA and there are not many Ivy Leaguers in the NBA," Lin said. "Maybe I can help break the stereotype."
Lin averaged 16.4 points and 4.5 assists per game at Harvard last season, when he was the captain of a Crimson team that went 21-8. But his name was not called during the NBA draft last month, and he fought his way on to a roster with several impressive performances during the NBA's summer league this month in Las Vegas. Golden State was an obvious destination for Lin. He was a Warriors fan while growing up in the nearby city of Palo Alto, and the San Francisco area has a large East Asian-American population.
"I consider myself a basketball player more than an Asian-American," he said. "I'm ready to play at this level and I appreciate the support of the Asian community. "This is a dream come true. I always wanted to be in the NBA and now I get to do it with the Warriors, the team I grew up watching." Lin, 21, is the younger son of Chinese immigrants from Taiwan. * Agencies