Understanding Jeremy Lin: his Harvard buddies on his faith, friendships, and the occasional prank


I asked several more of my mutual friends with Jeremy to recall some of their favorite memories with him, how they were personally celebrating Linsanity, and what impact his story has had on their lives. Here are their responses:
 
"I knew Jeremy would be a special player when the first time we played pickup he dunked on me the first play. I fell on my back and he was kind enough to help me up. It was embarrassing then but I feel better to know that I was dunked on by an NBA star." - Eric Lu, friend, Harvard ‘09
 
“For me, the thing I remember most about Jeremy is the down-to-earth, relaxed nature that he always exuded. Whether it was running into him on University Avenue in Palo Alto during summer vacation, conversing with him at bible study, or playing a pickup game with him in the offseason, there was never the awkward distance that one may feel to a star college basketball player. And in recent days, it has not mattered whether it has been a college friend or Yao Ming congratulating him for his successes—he has embraced everyone in a display of humility and generosity that has colored his rise to prominence.” - June-Ho Kim, friend and small group member, Harvard ‘09 (reposted from June-Ho's personal blog)

Jeremy with his friends after a basketball game. June-Ho Kim and Joony Moon, both pictured at Jeremy's right, contributed to this article. Photo courtesy of June-Ho Kim.

“My favorite Jeremy memory was after one of my a cappella group’s concerts that he wasn’t able to attend, he asked me if I had any recordings from the concert, specifically of any songs his then girlfriend might have been singing. I sent him a link to the video of the concert and thought that was the end of that. She then told me the next day she had walked into Jeremy's room earlier and found him embarrassingly listening to her song on full blast even with his roommates around.” - Joony Moon, friend, Harvard ‘10
 
“For the average person at Harvard, Jeremy Lin was a passing interest. Basketball just wasn't that big on campus, but for those of us already obsessed with Crimson sports, it was a feeding frenzy. We postered our office with his face, called him every chance we got, and even sent reporters to his Bible study. Unfortunately, we didn't think to coin the term ‘Linsanity,’ but we were the hoops star's first groupies!” - Max Brondfield, The Crimson Sports Editor, Harvard ‘11
 

Photo courtesy of the Harvard Gazette.

“I am overwhelmed by God's faithfulness and provision in his life and I'm incredibly hopeful for the ways that He has and will continue to use Jeremy for touching people's lives. I feel that Jeremy is a faithful witness and as he lets his own light shine, he gives the rest of his brothers and sisters in Christ the courage to do the same. For instance, for me, Linsanity is a great segue to sharing the good news, because when he comes up in conversation, I can talk about how I knew him in the context of Christian fellowship and our mutual goal of trying to live out the radical life of love, justice, and sacrifice modeled by Jesus.” – Danny Kim, friend and small group member, Harvard ‘10
 
“Jeremy's faith penetrates every aspect of his life both on and off the court. I personally have been struck by how earnestly Jeremy strives to be a spiritual leader, not only within his spiritual circle, but also within his nonreligious social circles and even in romantic relationships. Conversations with him about relationships revealed how intentional and committed he is to being a spiritual leader who keeps God at the center of any relationship.” – Elizabeth Shen, friend, Harvard ‘10
 
“I remember when I was watching the Dallas Mavericks game, I was so excited to the point I had to tell myself to calm down. It was too much for me to handle. I forced myself to not look at Facebook. I did not talk to anyone. I just tried to act as calm and normal as possible. I wished I was there with him. I would have shaken him and told him how happy I was. For me, that game was broadcasting at 2 am in China. I never thought I would ever in my life watch a basketball game at that hour. But I was literally enjoying every second and every moment.” – Cheng Ho, friend, roommate, small group member, Harvard ‘10
 
“Honestly, there are times I am envious that he is living my childhood dream of playing in the NBA, but then I realize I am more jealous that he is bringing God to the world, while I have a hard time bringing God up with a friend. But that’s a good jealousy because it inspires me to strengthen my own faith in God and be bold in my beliefs.” – Andy Choi, friend, Harvard ‘10
 
“If you didn't know Jeremy was a superstar before you met him, you still wouldn't know afterwards.  He has a humble disposition and is completely approachable and friendly.  His faith in Christ flows completely out of his person; he knows that apart from God, he is nothing, and so his very identity depends on the love that Jesus has shown for him.  He is ambitious, but quietly so--he will never go through anyone or walk over anyone to get to where he wants to be, and he is an example of what it looks like to be content in everything.  Even though he was at Harvard (not a basketball school by any stretch of the imagination), he learned to be content there and used his leadership and skills to build up the team.  While he hoped and worked towards playing in the NBA, he would have been happy to play in a second tier league because he had prayed about it and felt God's calling to professional basketball.  Of course, it would never be easy to be less than the best--and it wasn't easy to play at Harvard either--but Jeremy has a rootedness and spiritual foundation that can carry him through those hard times.” – Adrian Tam, Jeremy’s spiritual adviser, Harvard ‘06
 
“It seems like Jeremy has just been gracing the cover of one magazine to the next, but he wasn’t always the glamorous star that the media has depicted him. If I had to describe Jeremy and how he felt at the end of his senior year, it’d probably be “uncertain.” He was unsure if the draft would work out, and if not, then what—Europe? But through all this, he always kept faith in God—knowing that something was going to work. Now, I’m celebrating by telling people that besides his basketball skills, what a great guy he is. I personally feel proud and happy for him, because it just goes to show that good things do happen to good people, even if it might take a while and take you on a rollercoaster ride in the process. So that’s exactly what I tell people—that Jeremy really deserves it.” – Bing Han, Jeremy’s small group co-leader, Harvard ‘11