“Linsanity” sparks interest, has ties to St. Joe’s graduate

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Jared Davis, Staff Writer

Linsantional, Linriffic, Linning, Lintastic: these are just a few words NBA hall of famers and fans alike have used to describe Jeremy Lin, the basketball phenomenon out of Harvard. You heard right, Harvard. He’s on a tear, as most analysts may say. He has 6 double-doubles in 15 games. He’s done it against elite point guards such as Derron Williams, John Wall, Ricky Rubio, Jason Kidd, and Rajon Rondo. Many people know him by now because of the hype and by the aforementioned nicknames. Basketball fanatics may even be aware that he is one the hottest names in the league, period. But what people do not know is his back story, and exactly how he got to be the Tim Tebow of the NBA. Born in Palos Alto, not far from Stanford, Jeremy Lin attended Harvard University, after being snubbed from Stanford and UCLA. So, he traveled cross country to Cambridge, where he graduated as an economic major. Not long after arriving at Harvard, his assistant coach Kenny Blakeney, who was 1 of the 1% of Jeremy Lin fantasy owners, told Lin he had NBA potential.

Upon leaving college, he played in the D League as an undrafted rookie. Jeremy Lin’s intention was to play in the Italian league due to being cut and because of the NBA lockout. Jeremy Lin was released from two different teams within the span of 15 days. The Warriors cut him December 9th, and the Rockets December 24th, which was Christmas Eve. Many didn’t know that he had to live on his older brother’s sofa, that was, until he got kicked out due to his parents coming in. He then proceeded to crash at Landry Fields of the New York Knicks’ sofa. Little did he know by the time he came back, he would inspire masses.

As of result of his 25-point, 7-assist game and other games that followed it, he no longer lives on a sofa, and now has a guaranteed contract from the New York Knicks. He’s also solidified a starting spot as point guard. During that period, he’s also been without Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, for the most part. Though his numbers have dropped, Jeremy Lin has an extremely high ceiling. So buckle up, sit down and tune in to a New York Knicks basketball game. You’re bound to see a kid making plays all around the court.

As an aside, former St. Joe’s basketball player and graduate Garrett Leffelman, who is also a graduate of Brown University, actually played against Lin in the Ivy League. The following is an excerpt from Kevin Clark’s article on Lin in the Wall Street Journal online: “Ivy athletes traditionally have few bragging rights. So investment banking analyst Garrett Leffelman was surprised to find himself surrounded by 10 colleagues the Monday morning after Mr. Lin’s big night against the Lakers.

Mr. Leffelman’s Wall Street pals wanted to hear how he defended against Mr. Lin when Mr. Leffelman was a Brown University guard. Mr. Leffelman didn’t choke. In March 2009, he told the rapt crowd, he held Mr. Lin to 10 points and, as the game clock ticked to zero, Mr. Leffelman launched a game-winning 3-pointer.” The story yielded this quick calculation from someone in the finance crowd: ” ‘Jeremy Lin outscored Kobe Bryant, you’ve outscored Jeremy Lin, so by default that makes you better than Kobe Bryant,’ ” Mr. Leffelman recounted. That, he said, led to next question: “So why’d you end up here?” (Wall Street Journal: 2/16/12).