Hornets.com 1-on-1: Golden States Jeremy Lin
By: Calder Hynes, Hornets.com
January 5, 2011
Hornets.com caught up with Golden State guard Jeremy Lin prior to Wednesdays game at the New Orleans Arena.
Lin is in his rookie season in the NBA after catching the eye of teams around the league with his solid play at the Las Vegas summer league. After going undrafted, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound point guard garnered multiple contract offers after his stellar performances in Las Vegas, but ultimately chose to play for his hometown Warriors, the team he rooted for growing up. The Harvard graduate is the first American of Chinese and Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA.
Hornets.com: What is it like for you to play in your hometown for the team you grew up watching?
Lin: Its a little surreal to be able to play in the building (Oracle Arena). Growing up I always wanted to go and watch the Warriors. Its great to be around family and friends. Its been a lot of fun.
Hornets.com: When you didnt receive any athletic scholarship offers coming out of high school, how did you weigh the decision of where to attend college with both academics and playing basketball in mind?
Lin: Academics were very important, so the schools I was looking at were all pretty good academically. From there, it was which one would I be able to play basketball for? Harvard and Brown were the two schools that really wanted me to go (and play basketball). Stanford and UCLA were my dream schools, but that didnt work out (athletically).
Hornets.com: Did you feel you should have garnered more attention coming out of high school after leading your team to a 32-1 record and winning Northern California Division II Player of the Year?
Lin: At that time I was obviously pretty upset. I felt like I deserved a little more, but that put a chip on my shoulder and it pushed me to work really, really hard. It was a blessing in disguise.
Hornets.com: You ended up going to Harvard. Did you know Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg or any of the people depicted in the recent blockbuster The Social Network?
Lin: No, they graduated the year before I got there. I actually have not seen the movie yet. I have heard a lot about it, but havent watched it yet.
Hornets.com: What does it feel like to be the first American player of Chinese and Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA?
Lin: Obviously, there is a sense of pride. Im happy to be who I am, happy that I am Chinese my parents were raised in Taiwan. Definitely pride, but at the same time, when we get on the court, its just basketball, it doesnt matter what race you are.
Hornets.com: Do you feel like you are a role model for Asian-American children?
Lin: Yeah, thats something that Ive really learned to embrace. Being in the spotlight can be tough but I think whether you are going through good or bad times, theres a way you can inspire other people.
Hornets.com: You made a name for yourself at summer league, especially in your matchup with No. 1 overall draft pick John Wall. What was that experience like for you?
Lin: Summer league was five games, show what you can do. Obviously, the biggest one for me was against John Wall, and Im just thankful to God that it worked out that way. It was part of a divine plan where all of these different things had to happen and eventually I got a chance to play against John Wall, like Rodrigue Beaubois (who Lin was backing up) getting hurt in that exact game. Theres a lot of different things, my best quarter coming in the fourth quarter of that exact game as well. Looking back on my story, theres a lot of Gods fingerprints all over the entire story.
Hornets.com: The NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks the team that gave you a shot in summer league were both said to have made you contract offers. Was it hard to turn those teams down for the Warriors?
Lin: We (his family) thought the Warriors was the best situation, so it wasnt a tough decision after looking at a lot of different things. The icing on the cake was that it would mean coming home, and it was my favorite team.
Hornets.com: You are a crowd favorite at home and sometimes even on the road, what does that support mean to you?
Lin: I appreciate being able to get that type of love at home. Its very heart-warming and it makes my stay there even better.
Hornets.com: Hornets guard Marco Belinelli was also a summer league standout and played a limited role in his first two seasons in Golden State but is now a starter in the NBA. Does his career serve as a roadmap for what you would like to achieve?
Lin: Absolutely. I think hard work pays off and I think hard work can take you to a lot of different places. For me, thats what Im trying to focus on, and to be able to glorify God with my work ethic and the way I approach the game of basketball. I think as long as I stay focused, stay on the path and continue to work hard and continue to be humble in terms of absorbing information and if I can focus on those things, I think Ill be able to start seeing results.
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