TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — The first Taiwanese American signed by an NBA team hopes to overcome the negative stereotype of playing college basketball at Harvard and plans on eventually becoming a minister in an inner-city neighborhood.
Jeremy Lin, a 6 foot 3 undrafted point guard, signed last week with the Golden State Warriors after impressing coaches at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
In five outings with the Dallas Mavericks, the soft-spoken 21-year-old native of Palo Alto, California averaged 9.8 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.
Lin arrived in Taipei early Wednesday to appear at a charity event with other NBA players and Taiwanese celebrities.
At a downtown press conference he acknowledged that his NBA career path was far from common, but insisted he could still succeed.
“Coming out of college into the draft, being Asian-American and being from Harvard, that’s not going to be an advantage because of stereotypes,” he said.
He told reporters that religion is a major part of his life and where he saw his eventual destiny.
“I still want to be a pastor somewhere down the line, that is something that is definitely on my radar,” he said. “I have an economics degree with a minor in sociology. The reason I have that is because I want to do a ministry in urban areas and help with underprivileged kids.”
Lin said his family supported his passion for basketball despite receiving criticism from some Asian-Americans that he didn’t study enough.
“My dad was the one who really loved basketball and he was the one that put the basketball in my hands, and my mom was ’Team Mom’ of all my teams,” he said. “I used to play for three or four teams at once and she would just spend her entire afternoon driving me from practice to practice to practice.”