Central News Agency reported that Jeremy Lin is returning to Taiwan to attend a charity game hosted by Yao Ming’s foundation.
First Taiwanese-American NBA player to return for charity game
San Francisco/Taipei July 27 (CNA) Jeremy Lin, the first Taiwanese-American player to join the ranks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) , will arrive in Taiwan early Wednesday morning to play in a charity game featuring NBA players.
It will be Lin’s first game in the public eye since he signed a two-year deal with the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco on July 21.
The 21-year-old, whose parents emigrated from Taiwan to the United States in 1971, talked about his trip to Taipei while attending a summer basketball camp in the San Francisco area Monday.
Lin said he received a phone call from Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, who organized Wednesday’s charity event at Taipei Arena, inviting him to play in the game.
"I was surprised and excited to receive the invitation," said the point guard who will became the first Harvard graduate to play in the NBA in 57 years if he makes the Warriors final roster, which is considered highly likely.
Yao, the first Chinese to play in the NBA and a seven-time NBA All-Star, is currently on a charity tour in Taiwan.
NBA China CEO Tim Chen said he and Yao had been in touch with Lin for a few days before finalizing arrangements on Monday.
Aside from playing in Wednesday’s charity game, Lin is also scheduled to coach young players at a basketball camp at Nanshan High School in the Taipei suburb of Jhonghe on Thursday, Chen confirmed.
Lin, who has not visited Taiwan for more than seven years, said he has many fond memories of Taiwan. Both of his parents hail from central Taiwan’s Changhua County.
Though he says his life has not changed much since realizing his dream of joining an NBA team, Lin is likely to develop a strong fan base in Taiwan and has already become a celebrity in the Bay Area with its large Asian population.
He vowed to continue working hard to improve his skills and athleticism in pursuit of his immediate goal to become the Warriors’ starting point guard. Down the road, he said, he hopes to win an NBA championship.
Lin drew rave reviews for his play at Harvard, where he became the first player in Ivy League history to record at least 1,450 points, 450 rebounds, 400 assists and 200 steals.
After being spurned in the NBA draft, Lin played with the Dallas Mavericks’ summer league team and drew the attention of scouts by holding his own against top NBA draft pick John Wall.
Though he had many suitors, the Bay Area native and long-time Warriors fan opted in the end to sign with his home team. (By Leaf Jiang and Sofia Wu) enditem/ls