'Linspiration' hits the Richmond school grounds 0
Gary Ye, 17, is one of many Richmond students inspired by New York Knick's Asian-American basketball super star Jeremy Lin and his overnight success story. (CARMINE MARINELLI, 24 HOURS)
Call it Linspiration.
The overnight success of basketball star Jeremy Lin has captured the attention of everyone from Time Magazine - the Chinese-American will appear on the magazine's Asia edition cover - to celebrities, and local Asian-Canadian teens with big hoop dreams.
"I couldn't believe that someone like him could be a star because he started off unpopular," said Richmond high school student and basketball player Gary Ye of the first time he heard of Lin. "But now he's stepped up.
"He motivates me to work even harder."
Lin, a point guard for the New York Knicks, shocked the world recently when he kick started a red-hot winning streak for the NBA team that now sits at seven games. It left many wondering how the 6-foot-3 Harvard graduate hadn't received a college sports scholarship and had gone, until recently, unnoticed.
Ye, 17, was born in Hong Kong and moved to Canada at age five. He is one of many young basketball players amazed by Lin's story of determination and perseverance - especially in the face of racial stereotypes.
About 60% of Richmond residents are visible minorities, but with the explosion of 'Linsanity,' even more Asian customers have headed down to local sports stores to seek out Lin jerseys. However, licensing for his jersey has yet to be cleared in Canada, meaning Lin merchandise is still far and few in between.
As Ye prepared Thursday to head into a district-wide basketball tournament that evening with Palmer Secondary's senior boys squad, he said Lin's story has certainly helped conquer stereotypes about cultural performance in professional sports.
"It shows everyone can do anything," he said, adding Lin's story is inspirational for everybody, not just the Asian community.
Basketball coach Ryan Strachan echoed Ye's comments, noting the 'Linsanity' has been buzzing at the high school.
"It shows that hard work, dedication and sticking to your goals can make anything possible," he said. "If you look at other ethnic groups that don't traditionally fare as well in certain sports, you'll see the same thing holds true."