A Faithful Servant at the Heart of LINSANITY
By Chris Carpenter
CBN.com Program Director
CBN.com - When Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin burst on the scene in early 2012 as a member of the New York Knicks, most people believed the apparent phenom was an overnight sensation. Lin was anything but. Even though “Lin-sanity” gripped NBA fans far and wide due to his inspired play, the undrafted, unheralded guard from Harvard had already been cut by two other NBA teams. But suddenly, and without warning, he was thrust into the bright lights, big city atmosphere of one of professional sports brightest stages.
“It was a crazy time,” Lin said, in a recent interview with CBN.com. “It is definitely one thing that I will remember for the rest of my life. I think it was definitely a turning point in my life and career. It kind of changed the course of everything, especially from a basketball standpoint.”
Lin’s trajectory into the NBA’s elite is the subject of a new film, LINSANITY to be released simultaneously in theaters and VOD (video on demand) on October 4th. An official selection at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, LINSANITY is directed by Evan Jackson Leong and narrated by Daniel Dae Kim (Hawaii Five-O, Lost).
Before spending the better part of two seasons living the desperate journey of an NBA vagabond, Lin was just an undersized kid from California, the child of Taiwanese immigrants, who wanted nothing more than to play basketball and be accepted for his talent.
“I would say I have been an underdog but maybe not my whole life,” Lin explains. “I think there were times when growing up and even in high school where people expected me to be the best or that our team be the best. But I think in the later stages of my career there definitely has been an underdog theme. I have seen that become a lot more prominent.”
Lin has had to climb over many obstacles to become the first Asian-American in the NBA. As a high school player Lin was the subject of a fair amount of racial ridicule. Despite being one of the best high school players in California, he received little interest from any big time college programs, eventually enrolling at Harvard without a scholarship. Undrafted by the NBA, Lin played for four different pro teams before landing on the end of the Knicks bench. Through it all, Lin has remained resolute in his strong faith in Jesus Christ.
“My faith is everything,” says Lin. When you think about faith or you talk about faith, I wish the one thing people would see more is that it is comprehensive. It hits and affects every aspect of your life. My faith has gotten me through the tough times by reading the Bible, listening to sermons, praying and just spending a lot of time in the Word. I think those things have been able to give me a strong foundation and it has been able to keep me as steady as I can be given all the ups and downs in my career. I am pretty up front about it is because that is what happened and that is what my story is.
Subsequently, Lin’s Christianity plays a central role in LINSANITY. Filled with a lifetime of personal setbacks he has been able overcome, the film poignantly illustrates how the threads of faith, basketball, and dogged determination can be woven together to create a witness of sustainable grace.
“My greatest hope is that people would look at their own lives and challenge themselves with what their identity is in and to be able to look at who they are in their faith,” Lin says of the film. “I want people to be encouraged and inspired to get to know who God is a little more.”
LINSANITY opens Friday in limited release in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and San Diego. It will also release simultaneously on VOD platforms including Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, DirecTV, Dish Network, Cox Cable, Bright House, and Charter. Check your local listing for further details.
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