Linspired, Kids Edition: The Jeremy Lin Story


Linspired reveals the inside story of the remarkable and meteoric rise of Jeremy Lin, superstar of the New York Knicks the first Asian-American-born player of Chinese/Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA. Discover the journey of the underdog who beat the odds to reach his current stardom and catch the attention of the sports world with both his incredible basketball skills and his on and off-court example of faith, persistence, and hard work.

After receiving no athletic ...

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Linspired, Kids Edition: The Jeremy Lin Story

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Linspired reveals the inside story of the remarkable and meteoric rise of Jeremy Lin, superstar of the New York Knicks the first Asian-American-born player of Chinese/Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA. Discover the journey of the underdog who beat the odds to reach his current stardom and catch the attention of the sports world with both his incredible basketball skills and his on and off-court example of faith, persistence, and hard work.

After receiving no athletic scholarship offers out of high school and not being drafted by an NBA team after graduating from Harvard, Lin signed a deal with his hometown team of the Golden State Warriors. After only his first year of play he was waived by the Warriors, but he was picked up by the Houston Rockets. Again, he was let go, on Christmas Eve, 2011. In spite of this disappointment, Lin always remained positive and trusted that God had a plan for his life and talents. Soon after, Lin was picked up when the New York Knicks needed a guard. After weeks of sitting on the bench, a teammate’s injury placed Lin on the court, and since then he has captivated sports fans throughout the world with his tremendous skill and humble response.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310735236
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 5/1/2012
  • Series: ZonderKidz BiographySeries Series
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 499,986
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Mike Yorkey is an author, coauthor, and collaborator living in Encinitas, California, with more than seventy books to his credit. His most recent book is Believe: The Eric Le Grand Story, the story of Rutgers football player Eric Le Grand, who was paralyzed from the neck down on a kickoff play in 2010. He has collaborated with former San Francisco Giant pitcher Dave Dravecky and tennis star Michael Chang, and he has also written for numerous sports magazines. His website is

Jesse Florea has written and edited for Focus on the Family for over 20 years. As editorial director for youth publications, he oversees Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. magazines, and he co-hosts the “Official Adventures in Odyssey” podcast. Jesse has written or co-written more than a dozen books, including the best-selling devotionals The One Year Devos for Sports Fans and The One Year Father-Daughter Devotions. He lives with his wife, Stephanie, in Colorado Springs and enjoys hanging out with his two grown children.

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Read an Excerpt


ZonderKidz Biography
By Mike Yorkey Jesse Florea


Copyright © 2012 Mike Yorkey and Jesse Florea
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-73523-6

Chapter One

The NBA Goes Linsane!

Seven, Six, Five, Four ...

Any child who has picked up a basketball dreams of one day hitting a game-winning, buzzer-beating shot. Jeremy Lin grew up with images of hoops glory running through his mind as he dribbled a basketball on his family's driveway in Palo Alto, California. He'd shoot for hours, counting down from ten and releasing the ball just before the buzzer sounded. Sometimes Jeremy's shot would rip through the net with a beautiful swish. Other attempts would bounce off the rim and fall disappointingly to the pavement.

On those occasions, Jeremy would gather the ball, take his place on the driveway, and start the countdown again. His team just had to win.

Seven, Six, Five, Four ...

Even with all of Jeremy's practice and dreaming, he never would have dared to imagine what took place on February 14, 2012.

Through a bizarre series of what can only be explained as God-ordained events, the twenty-three-year-old found himself starting as point guard for the New York Knicks. Just weeks before, Jeremy feared he'd be cut by his third NBA team in two years. Now in a game against the Toronto Raptors, Jeremy held the ball at half court as the clock ticked down from eighteen seconds.

"Tied at eighty-seven, Lin with the ball in his hands," the TSN announcer said as the crowd at Air Canada Center rose to its feet. Jeremy had helped erase a 17-point second-half deficit for the Knicks. Moments earlier his three-point play on a double-pump, feathery four-foot jumper and ensuing foul shot had knotted the game 87-87.

With five seconds to go, Jeremy started dribbling toward Toronto point guard Jose Calderon. Jeremy moved the ball between his legs, spotted up about twenty-four feet from the basket, and launched a high-arching three-pointer.

Three, Two ...

"Lin for the wiiin," the announcer shouted. "Got it!"

The crowd erupted as the ball swished through the hoop, giving the Knicks a 90–87 victory. Jeremy nodded his head triumphantly and backpedaled down the court before getting chest-pumped by teammates pouring off the Knicks' bench. With that shot, Jeremy clinched New York's sixth straight victory and took the worldwide "Linsanity" craze to another level.

"I'm just glad it went like this so we can calm the Linsanity down," Knicks' coach Mike D'Antoni joked after the game.

Even though the Knicks were playing a road game, the crowd's reaction seemed more fitting for New York's Madison Square Garden. The hometown Raptors had lost, but the crowd stayed on its feet, cheering for the NBA's newest hero. Jeremy's box score on the night: 27 points (12 of which came in the fourth quarter) and 11 assists. Toronto fans, just like basketball fans around the world, were caught up in a wave of excitement surrounding a player who quickly came to embody hard work, hustle, and a rock solid faith in God.

But what some people missed on that February evening was the fact that D'Antoni chose not to take a timeout when New York got possession of the ball with less than twenty-four seconds left and the score tied. Conventional wisdom in the NBA says to call a timeout, draw up a play, and make sure the right players are on the court. Instead the coach put the ball in Jeremy's hands and trusted him with the outcome.

"He's too good to call a timeout," D'Antoni said to reporters after the game. "It makes it easy to a coach to be able to trust your point guard. He's smart enough, and I have faith in him."

No, D'Antoni wasn't talking about Carmelo Anthony—perhaps the Knicks' most clutch performer, who missed the game with an injury. The coach's words weren't directed toward a wily veteran player who'd been in last-second situations hundreds of times. And he wasn't even describing a top-five NBA draft pick who was destined for basketball stardom since middle school. He was talking about Jeremy Lin—who was five feet, three inches in high school, failed to get drafted by any NBA team, and was making just his fifth start.

Obviously, Linsanity wasn't just sweeping the world; it was affecting his coach too.

In early February 2012, Jeremy was the last man coming off the Knicks' bench during garbage time; by Valentine's Day, his dribble drive through five Los Angeles Lakers graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, basketball pundits on ESPN's SportsCenter had run out of superlatives to describe him, and his number 17 Knicks jersey was the NBA's top seller.

He was called "Lincredible," a balm of "Liniment" for the NBA. And he moved from anonymity to stardom — even pop icon status—quicker than an outlet pass to start a fast break.

Nobody was saying that Jeremy was the next Steve Nash, Magic Johnson, or Jerry West, but the fact that Jeremy even made it onto an NBA roster was noteworthy for several reasons:

1. At 6 feet, 3 inches, he wasn't tall for a game dominated by humongous athletes who can jump out of the gym.

2. He came from an Ivy League school; Harvard University, which last sent a player to the NBA in 1953—the year before the league adopted a 24-second shot clock.

3. He was the first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to ever play in the NBA.

The uniqueness of his story—his racial background, his Ivy League pedigree, and his undrafted status—caught the world's attention. But there was more to Jeremy—a deep reservoir of faith. Here was a polite, humble, and hard-working young man who understood that God had a purpose for his life, whatever that might be.

Jeremy sees himself as a Christian first and a basketball player second. In the midst of his wild, implausible journey with a leather basketball in his hands—he was trusting God.

"I'm not exactly sure how it is all going to turn out," Jeremy had said after his rookie season, "but I know for a fact that God has called me to be here now in the NBA. And this is the assignment that he has given me. I know I wouldn't be here if that wasn't the case. Just looking back, though, it's been a huge miracle [that I'm in the NBA]. I can see his fingerprints everywhere."

God's hand was certainly guiding Jeremy during his first handful of starts for the Knicks, where the young point guard accomplished something that not even Michael Jordan—Jeremy's childhood hero—could brag about.

Who's Responsible for the Linsanity?

On February 13, 2012, Jeremy Lin filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to own the term "Linsanity." His filing came six days after a thirty-five-year-old Californian applied for a Linsanity trademark.

Despite not being the first to apply, Gary Krugman, a partner at the Washington-based law firm of Sughrue Mion, said Jeremy's claim should trump the others.

"Nobody can register a mark if it falsely suggests a connection with the person or an institution," Krugman said. "I would guess that Jeremy Lin would be able to oppose on the grounds that Linsanity points uniquely and unmistakably to him."

If you haven't seen them already, don't be surprised to find Linsanity bags, cups, T-shirts, and other products in a sporting goods store near you.


Excerpted from Linspired by Mike Yorkey Jesse Florea Copyright © 2012 by Mike Yorkey and Jesse Florea. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERKIDZ. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


1. The NBA Goes Linsane!....................7
2. Miracle Near 34th Street....................14
3. Coming to America....................19
4. Hoop and Faith....................26
5. Miracle Grow....................34
6. It's Academic....................42
7. Raising the Curtain on the Jeremy Lin Show....................46
8. What's in a Name?....................53
9. Undrafted and Unwanted....................60
10. Rookie Blues....................68
11. The Tempting Life of the NBA....................77
12. Locked Out, But Locked In....................82
13. New York State of Mind....................88
14. From Couch to Center Court....................96
15. Lin-describable Turn of Events....................102
16. All-Star Onslaught....................109
17. Far East Frenzy....................114
18. A Prayer Request from and for Jeremy....................120
Author Bios....................127
Source Material....................129
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