Five Fast Facts About Jeremy Lin

Peter ChenContributor IIIFebruary 11, 2012

Five Fast Facts About Jeremy Lin

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    Jeremy Lin may well be the most talked about athlete on the planet right now. Hanging 38 on Kobe and the Lakers at MSG, on ESPN, will do that for you.

    The debate rages on about whether J Lin, former D-Leaguer and Warriors benchwarmer, is for real. Meantime, turn the page for a few more facts about the man whose linstantaneously lincredible linsanity has set the sports world afire.

Lin Played for Palo Alto HS

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    Jeremy Lin played high school basketball at Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto, California.

    The school, known locally as "Paly High," was first built nearly a century ago, in 1918. The main gymnasium was added in 1928, and later renovated in 1948 and 1968.

    Other notable grads from Paly include San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and actor James Franco.

Lin Led Paly to the 2006 State Title over Mater Dei

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    In 2006, Lin led Palo Alto HS to the California state Division II high school championship over heavily favored Mater Dei of Santa Ana.

    Mater Dei, whose alumni include Matt Barkley, Matt Leinart and Colt Brennan, featured 6'8" McDonald's All-American sharpshooter Taylor King and boasted seven other players at 6'7" or taller.

    The championship game was played at ARCO Arena in Sacramento. Lin displayed the same instinctual slashing and passing style now being shown on continuous loop on ESPN. He scored 17 points as the shorter but scrappy Vikings led throughout the second half and won 51-47 before thousands of elated Paly fans who had traveled to ARCO.

    Taylor King scored 23 for Mater Dei in a losing effort. He had committed to play for Ben Howland at UCLA, but ended up playing collegiate basketball for Duke and then Villanova. He was last seen playing for a team in Canada.

Stanford Did Not Offer Lin a Scholarship

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    Jeremy Lin was a Stanford fan growing up. Palo Alto High School is located literally across the street from the Stanford campus.

    The Cardinal's head basketball coach in 2006 was Trent Johnson. That year, he successfully recruited the Lopez twins, Brook and Robin.

    Lin's heroics in leading Paly to the state title earned him All-State and NorCal Division II POY awards. However, he was not offered a scholarship by Stanford, and was instead invited to try to walk on to the Cardinal squad.

    Lin opted to head East for Harvard, where he was guaranteed a spot on the varsity. 

    Trent Johnson is now head coach at LSU.

Jeremy Put Harvard Hoops on the Map

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    Jeremy Lin was a three-time All-Ivy league selection while at Harvard (second team as a sophomore, first team as a junior and senior). His signature game for the Crimson was a 30-point, nine-rebound effort at UConn his senior year.

    Lin ended his Harvard career ranked among the school's top five all time in scoring, assists and steals and, notably, eighth all time in blocked shots.

    At Harvard, Lin lived in Lowell House. Other famous residents of Lowell House over the years have included the actors Matt Damon and Natalie Portman.

    While the Crimson did not make March Madness during Lin's career, they are currently leading the Ivy League with a 20-2 record and have been ranked in the top 25 nationally for several weeks.

Jeremy Lin, Wataru Misaka, Raymond Townsend and Rex Walters

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    It is widely reported that Lin, whose parents came to the U.S. from Taiwan, is only the fourth American-born NBA player of Asian ancestry.

    The first was Wataru Misaka, who led Utah to the 1947 NIT title and later played in three NBA games for—you guessed it—the Knicks.

    The others were former UCLA star Raymond Townsend, who was on John Wooden's NCAA championship team in 1975, and former Kansas great Rex Walters, who played in the 1993 Final Four with the Jayhawks.

    Both Townsend and Walters played high school hoops in San Jose, not far from Palo Alto. And it's a world away from MSG, where Lin is for now, the toast of the town.

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