Thursday, February 16, 2012

Jeremy Lin hopes more Asians, Asian-Americans will play in NBA in near future

source: Agence France Presse

NEW YORK - Jeremy Lin says he plans on going to Taiwan after this NBA of "Lin-sanity" is complete, the new NBA Asian-American star saying he would return to a basketball camp he took part in last year.

Lin, whose parents are from Taiwan and whose grandmother is from China, said on Wednesday after helping lead the New York Knicks to a 100-85 victory over Sacramento that he looks forward to his trip to Asia.

"I have a strong passion for the game and a strong passion for Taiwan," Lin said. "Last summer it was one of the highlights of my summer so I'm going to do it again."

Asian NBA fans have a strong passion for the first US-born NBA player of Taiwan and Chinese heritage, having helped make his souvenir jersey the most popular seller over the past week.

Knicks games have become an internet sensation because of Lin, a former Knicks bench-warmer who was given a chance to play and responded with the most points in his first five starts of any NBA player since 1976.

That has taken the Knicks from an NBA also-ran to 15-15 and made Lin, a 23-year-old point guard, a media darling in New York despite being undrafted when he came out of Harvard University.

Lin said he hopes to disprove stereotypes about athletes from Ivy League colleges known more for academics that sports, and he hopes to similarly change outlooks and stereotypes regarding Asians and Asian-American NBA players.

"Ivy League basketball is on the rise," Lin said. "Over time, hopefully, you will see that stereotype go away.

"I think there are definitely (Asian) stereotypes. There are a lot of them. The more we can do to break those down every day the better we will become.

"Hopefully in the near future we will see a lot more Asians and Asian-Americans playing in the NBA." — Agence France Presse