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by Jimmy Tsai
You could call him the “Great Yellow Hope.” At 6′ 3,” Harvard University guard Jeremy Lin is perhaps the most prominent Asian-American basketball player since Watura “Wat” Misaka. While there have been a number of notable Asian imports–Yao Ming, Yi Jian-Lian, Wang Zhi-Zhi–there hasn’t been a true product of Asian America to crack the NBA since Misaka broke the color barrier back in 1947.
Despite being from an Ivy League school (a position that hinders his opportunities for exposure), Lin has racked up stats that would be impressive in any division, steadily improving his numbers in every major statistical category (including points, rebounds, assists, steals, and fg%) over his first three years of college ball.
Lin shot to national prominence on January 7, 2009 when he led Harvard past Boston College (then ranked no. 24 in the nation) with 27 points, 8 assists, and 6 steals. It was the first time in Harvard’s history that the school had defeated a nationally-ranked opponent. It should also be noted that only three nights prior, Boston College had upset then-No. 1-ranked North Carolina (by the transitive property, that would make Harvard No. 1; too bad that’s not how the college rankings are generated).
Though the chances are slim (but not without precedent), here’s to hoping that some NBA team will see past the Ivy League and Asian American stereotypes and realize that there is a potential gem in Lin.