Palo Alto's Jeremy Lin signs with Warriors

Harvard grad gets a two-year deal with first year guaranteed

By Keith Peters

Palo Alto Online Sports

Jeremy Lin headed to Oakland today to fulfill his dream of becoming an NBA player. This was just another step in the journey that took him from Palo Alto High to Harvard and to the Golden State Warriors, with whom Lin signed a two-year contract on Wednesday.

"I don't think I've ever been a part of something like this before," said Lin, 21, a Palo Alto High graduate. "This is unbelievable. Words can't really express my feelings right now and how happy I am and how grateful I am. This is crazy."

Lin received a phone call on Tuesday night from his agent, Roger Montgomery, confirming the deal and ending recent speculation where he might be headed. Reportedly, Lin also received offers from the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks.

"He's very excited," said Peter Diepenbrock, who coached Lin and the 2005-06 Paly basketball team to the CIF Division II state championship. "It's just overwhelming."

Should he make the Warriors' roster, Lin will be the first Palo Alto High athlete to play in the NBA since Jim Loscutoff Jr., who won seven championship rings alongside Bill Russell with the Boston Celtics from 1956-64. Loscutoff Jr. graduated from Paly in 1948.

Lin also will be the only Asian-American in the NBA should he stick with Golden State, and the first Harvard player to make the grade since Ed Smith in 1953.

"I understand there are not many Asians in the NBA and there are not many Ivy Leaguers in the NBA," Lin said. "Maybe I can help break the stereotypes."

Lin became the first Ivy League player to record 1,450 points, 450 rebounds, 400 assists and 200 steals. He finished his college career as Harvard's all-time leader in games played (115) and fifth in points with 1,483 points.

"I'm a play-maker," he said when asked to describe his game. "I'm always attacjing the rim. I'm a somewhat reckless player. I try to be everywhere at once."

Diepenbrock and Lin's family accompanied Jeremy to the Warriors' training facility in downtown Oakland, where Lin signed a two-year deal.

According to Diepenbrock, the first year is guaranteed for $350,000 (other reports said $250,000) with the Warriors holding the option for the second year.

Diepenbrock said the next-best deal for a free-agent point guard is $10,000.

Diepenbrock said that Lin had to turn off his cell phone after being deluged by well-wishers on Tuesday night.

Prior to the Warriors' offer surfacing, the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks had showed interest in signing Lin.

As of Tuesday morning, Lin had no idea where he was headed. He was just waiting for a phone call from his agent.

"I just want to be told when it's final," Lin said Tuesday morning, after a camera crew from CBS had stopped by to film him for a second straight day. "I don't know what the contracts are. I prefer it that way. I really don't want to go through the emotional roller coaster . . . I don't want to get my hopes up."

Right now, Lin is enjoying being back home in Palo Alto with his family, including brothers Joseph and Josh, and friends, and working at Diepenbrock's basketball camp.

"My goal right now is just to enjoy my time off, get my body rested," Lin said. "I've been on a three-month job interview. I just want to spend time with my family and friends. I'm been traveling and living out of a duffel bag."

On Tuesday, Lin spent time watching young basketball campers run through drills, play one-on-one and just have some plain old fun. It was a nice homecoming for Lin, who led Paly to the CIF Division II state championship in 2005-06. Another camp coach is Kheaton Scott, who played with Lin on the title-winning team. Other coaches include former Paly players like Brandon Williams and Dave Persyko.

"I actually asked Diepenbrock if I could work this camp," Lin said. "I've got my former Paly teammates and friends here. I'm as close to Diepenbrock as anyone. He's always supported me and came down to Las Vegas to see me. So, this isn't work for me. It just shows my relationship to him and my teammates."

It was so important for Lin to be at Diepenbrock's camp that Lin and his parents, Gie-ming and Shirley, drove all night from Las Vegas after a game on Sunday so Lin could be at camp Monday at 8 a.m.

While in Las Vegas, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Lin turned quite a few heads while playing in the NBA summer league. He played in five games, averaging 19 minutes and 9.8 points. He shot .545 from the field.

His best outing came last Thursday against the Washington Wizards and the NBA's No. 1 overall draft pick, John Wall.

Lin scored 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting in just 28 minutes while Wall was 4-of-19 in 33 minutes while scoring 21 points. Many of those who filled the gym on the campus of Nevada-Las Vegas probably felt Lin outplayed the highly touted Wall. That was evident on the video that made its way to YouTube. (it can be seen it at

Lin came away from the summer league with nothing but positives.

"For me, it meant I can play at this level; I can play in the NBA," Lin said. "There are a lot of critics out there, but I think I showed people what I could do. My confidence did grow but, going in, it wasn't a question that I couldn't play with these guys . . . I'm just happy the Mavs gave me the opportunity."

Lin evidently had a lot to prove after graduating from Paly in 2006, despite being named first-team All-State and the Northern California Division II Player of the Year -- finishing his senior year with impressive averages of 15.1 points, 7.1 assists, 6.2 rebounds and 5.0 steals.

Lin received no scholarship offers from Division I schools and only Harvard and Brown showed any real interest. Lin chose Harvard and went on to have a sensational four-year career that saw him average 16.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.1 blocks his senior year while being named captain and earning a unanimous spot on the All-Ivy League first team.

Lin graduated in May with a degree in economics.

Despite what he accomplished at Harvard, including being a finalist for both the John R. Wooden Award (for best Division I player in the country) as well as the Bob Cousy Award (for best D-I point guard in the nation), Lin was not selected in the recent NBA Draft, which he watched with Diepenbrock. The stigma of Lin being an Asian-American, a rarity in the NBA, and from Harvard was too much for teams to see past.

"As far as the NBA Draft goes, I thought I was pretty much borderline," Lin said.

No sooner did the draft conclude, however, Lin received a phone call from Donnie Nelson, president of basketball operations for the Mavericks. Nelson offered Lin a spot on the summer league team and Lin made the most of the opportunity with his aggressive drives, tough defense, court saavy and leadership.

"He did really well," Diepenbrock said of Lin. "He impressed a lot of people."

Lin quickly became a crowd favorite in Las Vegas and his reputation as someone who could play at the NBA level was reflected on internet sites.

One comment posted at said:

"I really hope he comes to Dallas, but if not, he's definitely earned my respect wherever he ends up. I'm convinced this kid is going to be a star one day, and there will be a lot of humble pie to go around for everyone that has ever doubted him along the way."

"This is crazy, everything that is going on," Lin said. "I never expected this. It's been a really fun ride."

While Lin is taking it easy for awhile, the NBA ride is far from over.

"The real goal is to get on a roster," Lin said.

The Warriors this week traded away point guard C.J. Watson to the Chicago Bulls, which seemingly opened a roster spot for Lin. Second-year player Stephen Curry is the incumbent point guard and joins Monta Ellis and newly acquired Charlie Bell in the backcourt.

Jeremy Lin is now part of that group. He has worked hard all his life to get to this point and has been given another opportunity to prove himself. And, has been the case throughout his career, he hasn't missed yet.

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Like this comment
Posted by Tom
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 20, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Here is a December 2009 article about Lin, from a SF-Bay magazine:
Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Proud Neighbor
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 20, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Congratulations Jeremy. Everyone should be tremendously proud of your efforts on the court, and, just as importantly, the way you have carried yourself off of it. This is a tribute both to you and to your parents Gie-Ming and Shirley. I've been following your career since you were in high school, and am excited to see you so close to your dream of playing in the NBA.

This is a great story of hard work, believing in yourself, and never giving up. One couldn't ask for a better role model of a student-athlete.

Like this comment
Posted by Harvard
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 20, 2010 at 4:57 pm

If you don't make it in to the NBA, you can still fall back on that Harvard education.

Like this comment
Posted by Patrick R
a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2010 at 5:16 pm

He actually played in 5 games and averaged 9.8ppg (54.5 FG%) in 19 minutes.

Great player, great guy, and a great story. Funny how things work out! I don't want to jinx the guy, but not getting drafted might be the best thing to ever happen to him. Instead of playing for a spot on a mediocre/bad team, there's a mini-bidding war for his services with suitors like the Mavs and defending champ Lakers. Who knows? Maybe he'll even make more than the rookie minimum, which never would have happened if he was "merely" drafted.

Like this comment
Posted by LinFan
a resident of Ohlone School
on Jul 20, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I think the only thing missing in Lin's game is deadeye shooting from outside and a pull up jumper off the dribble. Gotta keep the defense honest. I'm rootin for yah kid!

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 20, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Jeremy is an AMERICAN. I don't call myself a German-American!! The problem is that this country in the last 30 years or became 'hyphenated' which is so destructive. Our ancestors came over here and proudly dropped the old nationality, and subsequent generations did too. But in the last thirty years or so, suddenly being hyphenated became all the rage. Let's get over that. Either we are Americans - period, or we are not - American citizens. Too bad Jeremy has to battle that.

Like this comment
Posted by JeremyLinFan
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jul 20, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Watch this clip of Jeremy Lin in Harvard vs. UConn (one of the top nationally ranked college teams) and your jaws will drop!

Like this comment
Posted by JeremyLinFan
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jul 20, 2010 at 6:49 pm

forgot to post the link

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by stephen
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 20, 2010 at 8:20 pm


Like this comment
Posted by Patrick R
a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Well, it looks like he's comin' on home! Still, his undrafted FA status no doubt gave him the leverage to earn a multi-year contract with guaranteed money.

Like this comment
Posted by Stan Lim
a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Congratulations on the great summer league performance Jeremy. My 9 year old is very much into basketball, and you're truly a great inspiration. Hard work and determination really does pay off. Very glad I saw your picture in WSJ sport section a few months ago.

The latest news says you're close to signing with the Warriors - good for you. Can't wait to attend the Warriors - Timberwolves game when Golden State comes to Minneapolis.

Like this comment
Posted by Josh
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 21, 2010 at 9:39 am

Huge fan of Lin's, but I can understand the risk-aversion to picking Lin in the NBA draft. Are there any examples of Asian-American or Harvard-educated alumni amongst the current NBA players? Bill Bradley was a Rhodes Scholar from Princeton but that was a different age 40 years ago.

Like this comment
Posted by Jeremy fan
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 21, 2010 at 9:48 am

Wow, with Jeremy on the squad, I might even go to a Warriors game. Congratulations, Jeremy! It's a thrill to see a hometown hero work so hard to fulfill his dream.

Like this comment
Posted by good job
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 21, 2010 at 9:56 am

Playing for a California team is a great idea. Like it or not, there is still a lot of anti-Asian racism in the rest of the country. Trying to excel at the game and resist the Tea Party hecklers at the same time will not be easy.

Josh - there are no other Harvard-educated Asian-Americans in the NBA. There are no other Asian-Americans in the NBA period. Yao Ming is a Chinese citizen.

Like this comment
Posted by Fan
a resident of Woodside
on Jul 21, 2010 at 11:53 am

Would love for Jeremy to make it in the NBA. With his large fan base in the Bay Area, Oracle arena would have more excitement than it already has.
Correction to the article, in that Jeremy would be the 2nd Paly Grad to make the NBA. The first was Jim Loscutoff Jr. who played for the Celtics back in the 50's championship era. He was such a good role player, the Celtic retired his Jersey. Hope Jeremy's success the same.

Like this comment
Posted by Frank
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jul 21, 2010 at 11:59 am

First from Paly to go to the NBA? Probably belongs to Jim Loscutoff, the old 'enforcer' for the Boston Celtics.

1 person likes this
Posted by Art
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 21, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Congratulations to Jeremy.
Did you know that the first person to break the color line in the NBA was Wat Misaka during the 1940s? Try googling his name or "The Misaka Story".

Like this comment
Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 21, 2010 at 8:33 pm

How come this is hidden away in sports, it should be front page/headline news for all Palo Alto to see.

Congratulations to Jeremy and to Paly.

Like this comment
Posted by Chinese Paly Alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 22, 2010 at 10:49 am

Jeremy, can you please get a better haircut? It'd be nicer to see an Americanized-Asian haircut on you. Congratulations and thanks for making Asians proud.

Bob, they just want to distinguish that he is Asian-American, as opposed to an Asian immigrant and there's nothing wrong with that. How many German immigrants are around these days? It's human nature to think of Caucasians as Americans since they have been the majority for so long.

Good job, I agree that there is still a lot of anti-Asian racism in the rest of the country. I lived in the midwest for 20 years and was harassed for being Asian. Our neighbors were always trying to pick fights with us. Some people here seem to feel threatened by the huge influx of Asian immigrants, understandably. But in general, we are more accepted here in CA than anywhere else.

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 22, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Jeremy going to the Warriors is sports headlines in the Boston Globe today. He's a nice young man with very nice parents. We are proud.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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