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Palo Alto’s Lin Inspiring Young Asian-American Athletes

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Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — As Palo Alto native Jeremy Lin enjoys success on the basketball court, he is motivating young Asian-American athletes across the Bay Area.

A point guard on the New York Knicks, Lin is making his mark as the first Asian-American star in the NBA, busting stereotypes in the process.

Teenagers with San Francisco’s Taisho basketball team can’t get enough of Lin, watching his success with joy.

“He’s a big inspiration to me. He gives me hope that I can get to a higher level in basketball,” said team member Minkyu Park.

The teens compete in one of the Bay Area’s century-old Asian basketball leagues. Though the leagues are competitive, they’re mainly for building cultural and community ties among Asian-Americans.

Parent Mike Chan said, “They didn’t give [Lin] a chance. Look at all the teams that passed him up, the colleges. I think they didn’t realize he had that talent as an Asian-American.”

Steve Young, coach of the Taisho’s said, “They’re really inspired. It’s something that motivates them more. It makes their dreams more realistic.”

More importantly, the rise of Jeremy Lin tells kids that they have a shot in their dreams, even if it isn’t in basketball.

“It makes me think bigger and have bigger dreams. If you work hard, maybe you’ll accomplish it,” said Evan Chan, a 9th grader.

Lin has also inspired education-minded parents who tell their children that they too can shoot for Harvard and for hoops. Mother Jil Esser said, “You can do both, play sports and get great education. And because of Jeremy Lin, the boys and girls will see that too.”

On and off the court, the players and their families said that they all score from “Linsanity.”

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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