Jeremy Lin and his rise to prominence spread like wildfire during February 2012, when he took over the starting point guard role for the struggling New York Knicks and began one of the most improbable journeys sports has ever seen. Suddenly, everybody was into the inspiration of Jeremy that is forever known as “Linsanity.” He became an overnight sensation with his natural basketball skills and on court charisma. He was quickly embraced worldwide and gave New Yorkers the kind of hope they hadn’t felt in years.
A native of Palo Alto, CA, Jeremy is the NBA’s first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent. Overcoming innumerable obstacles, Jeremy’s road to the NBA was not easy—he was always overlooked and was believed to be the only California Division II Player of the Year to not receive a Division I scholarship. However, Harvard University did take notice of him, and knew he would become the vital part to their program. Jeremy helped pave the way for his Harvard team to become nationally-ranked for the first time in its history along with making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1946.
After Jeremy’s storied college career concluded, he wanted to continue to pursue his dream of playing in the NBA. When he went undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft, he began thinking about non-basketball careers, but was signed by his hometown Golden State Warriors for the 2010-11 season. After being cut by the Warriors, he was signed by the Houston Rockets, and ultimately cut on Christmas Day in 2011. He was then picked up by the Knicks, and after being inserted as a starter for the injury-laden team in February 2012, the rest, as they say, is history. In the course of just a few weeks, Jeremhy went from benchwarmer to international icon, by scoring a historic 136 points in his first five career starts. His magical run included scoring 38 points against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, 28 points on the defending champion Dallas Mavericks, and 27 points and a last-second game winning three-pointer against the Toronto Raptors. Heading into the 2012 off-season, Jeremy was a restricted free agent and was ultimately signed by the Houston Rockets. In the summer of 2014, he was traded back to his home state to the Los Angeles Lakers. He spent the 2015-16 season with the Charlotte Hornets, then signed with the Brooklyn Nets as a free agent in the summer of 2016. He was traded to Atlanta in the summer of 2018. Jeremy agreed to a buyout with the Hawks in February of 2019 and then immediately signed with the Toronto Raptors, where he currently plays.
Jeremy’s incredible story is a testament to the power of opportunity. After going undrafted and being cut by multiple teams, his triumph is proof that the last man off the bench might be a star waiting to shine. Whether this is on a basketball court or in communities throughout the world, Jeremy believes that other people and organizations are likewise ready and able to “make a difference” if given a chance. As such, he launched The Jeremy Lin Foundation at NBA All-Star 2013 with its first initiative, “The Making a Difference Project.” The campaign sought out highly-impactful, yet overlooked non-profit organizations and supported them through fundraising efforts and public exposure, helping these organizations continue their valuable work. Jeremy’s recent initiative, One Game’s Wages, included a crowd fundraising effort to empower girls around the world that are affected by poverty.