Raised in a Christian family, Jeremy’s faith guided and supported him as he chased his hoop dream of playing basketball in the NBA. Known for his relentless work off court and on, the young phenom led his Palo Alto high school team to a state title against nationally-ranked Mater Dei, an overwhelming favorite.
Despite his All-State level play, however, no Division 1 college recruited Jeremy. So, he enrolled at Harvard University, which does not offer athletic scholarships.
Undrafted by the NBA out of college, he nevertheless impressed scouts in the summer league going up against the No. 1 draft pick. He was eventually signed—but later cut—by the Golden State Warriors.
A brief stint in Houston ended unceremoniously on Christmas Day, 2011. Jeremy was subsequently picked up by the New York Knicks. In early 2012, on the verge of being cut again, he rose to prominence as a starter, unlikely team leader and improbable NBA sensation.
“Linsanity” was born! He’s been the Houston Rockets’ starting point guard since landing a three-year, $25 million deal. Whether facing racial taunts as a child, or being underestimated on the court, Jeremy Lin consistently points to his faith as his means of dealing with both disappointment and success.
Here, he talks about Linsanity, the new documentary chronicling both his commitment to Christ and his meteoric rise to superstardom.
Jeremy Lin: My pleasure, Kam.
KW: Why did you allow a film crew to shoot this documentary, especially since they started following you around while you were still at Harvard, well before you became an overnight NBA sensation? Did you have a hunch about how your story was going to turn out?
JL: I agreed to film after my rookie year in Golden State. I was more used to cameras and felt that my journey to the NBA was a story worth sharing. Little did we know how much bigger the platform and documentary would become after Linsanity.
KW: I know you were raised by a father who loved basketball and a mother who encouraged you to pursue your dream. But would you nevertheless say that they put even more of an emphasis on faith, family and academics?
JL: Absolutely! Faith, family, academics and then sports was the order of priorities in my family. My parents really stuck to these principles when raising me and my two brothers. As long as we took care of everything, they let us play as much basketball as we wanted.
KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles says: Thanks for your wonderful stint with the Knicks. We fans miss you. I wish I were with management and could have kept you here. What’s the difference between playing for a New York team and playing for the Rockets, a Texas team?
JL: The biggest difference is the change in culture in terms of the city. New York is fast paced, with enthusiastic fans and lots of media attention. Houston’s slower paced and there’s more of a southern culture to the city. But both cities have unbelievable food.
KW: The Mike Pittman question: What was your best career decision?
JL: My best career decision was probably not giving up when I wanted to. God as well as my family and friends were there for me during my toughest times.
KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
JL: First, get to know who Jesus Christ is, or at least explore a relationship with Him. Second, have fun! Third, pursue your passion wholeheartedly. Never let someone else tell you what you aren’t capable of.
KW: Thanks again for the time, Jeremy, and best of luck with the film and in the upcoming season.
JL: Thank you, Kam.
Watch the trailer for “Linsanity”:
To find out whether Linsanity is playing in a theater near you, visit: http://www.linsanitythemovie.com/screening/