HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – Last season, Jeremy Lin rose from the perpetual mediocrity of the Knicks to take the nation by storm. And he thanks God for his achievements.
After a breakout performance against the Nets, Lin averaged 14.6 points per game before his season was cut short with a knee injury. Lin became the first player in NBA history to score at least 20 points and have seven assists in each of his first five starts, and 25 games was enough to bring “Linsanity” international publicity.
After weeks of contract negotiations with the Knicks, Lin has signed a three-year, $25 million deal with the Rockets,who had previously cut Lin after training camp last season. The Rockets are rebuilding this offseason and are looking to make Lin the new leader of the Rockets franchise loaded with young talent.
Rebuilding an NBA franchise is a tall order; and during his first official press conference as a Rocket Thursday, Lin repeatedly cited his faith in God as the reason for his success.
“It’s everything,” Lin said. “It’s how I play basketball, why I play basketball.”
Lin, who had been nicknamed ‘Taiwanese Tebow’ before, grew up in a non-denominational Christian household. And while a student athlete at Harvard, he was a co-leader of the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Christian Fellowship during both his junior and senior years. In small group sessions, Lin learned how to reconcile his beliefs with the NBA lifestyle in a way that has never been obnoxious or overbearing. Lin knows that his leadership role as the Rockets’ point guard will be challenging, but he embraces the pressure that comes with rebuilding a franchise and being a man of faith.
“Whether it’s reading the Bible or praying, it’s just about being committed,” Lin said. “And I think it goes beyond basketball. But just understanding I’m here to glorify God – that’s my purpose.”