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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (4)
  1. JusDav says:

    Can y’all get over yourselves already? What the bleep is an Asian-American?
    Is that someone whom is too good to be an American? Need to be better than that? So they have to say I am a (fill in the blank)-American. Sheesh. For those of you not following my train of thought, let me lay it down for you. I have a car. Bob has a better car; his is a sports-car. Mike has an even better car; his is a red-sports-car. Picking up what I am laying down? Mary has a red-BMW-sports-car. Susan has a red-BMW-convertible-sports-car. So.. Susan has a MUCH BETTER car than me….. (except when the repair bill arrives, but that is off topic) On and on and on………
    You are an American or you are not. Even the so called “native” Americans are not “native”. Native is being someone born here. So… I am a native. The “Indians” are just descendants of the first immigrants, not?
    Please, lots of people keep saying quit being racist… take your own advice. I AM AN AMERICAN.
    Granted, I am of European descent, more definitively, Irish, Polish, and Bohemian decent. But still, just a good ole American boy.
    Good enough for all of us. United we stand, it says. If you continue to exclude yourself from being an American by having to be better than the rest of us.. Go somewhere else.
    Signed, an American.

  2. JusDav says:

    Lin is an inspiration to all of us.

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