Jeremy Lin says faith kept NBA dream alive, launches US$200K charity grants in quarantine

Jonathan White, South China Morning Post

Posted at Jan 24 2021 10:02 AM | Updated as of Jan 24 2021 10:24 AM

New NBA G League signing Jeremy Lin has begun his quarantine in Santa Cruz ahead of the new season with the Warriors and the "Linsanity" star is keeping himself busy as he isolates.

The 32-year-old revealed how his Christian faith has helped him press on with his dream of returning to the NBA, while also announcing US$200,000 in grants for local Bay Area initiatives for Asian-American and Pacific Islander youth from his charitable foundation.

Lin spoke to Taiwanese Christian television channel GOOD TV, where he broadcasts his annual sharing on his faith, to tell them how it helped him press on with his dream of returning to the NBA after a year with the Beijing Ducks in the Chinese Basketball Association.

"So many times I almost wanted to give up on this dream and I just felt like God gave me strength when I didn't have it. I'm not trying to sound churchy or anything, it's true," Lin said in a video shared on YouTube on Friday.

"When I was really weak and I was ready to give up, God exposed different fears in me and made me confront them and he gave me the strength to keep going even though I was not ready to make that choice."

Lin set off for Santa Cruz on Thursday, updating his Chinese fans on Weibo of his schedule before making the drive.

He will quarantine for seven days before flying with his new team to Orlando, Florida, where the G League will take place in the same ESPN Wide World of Sports at Disney World bubble that the NBA used to finish last season.

Once in the bubble there will be four more days of quarantine then nine days of team practice before the 15-game season begins.

"I hope if I can perform well in these 15 games then in the middle there will be NBA teams that show an interest in me so I can be called up anytime."

The Bay Area-native, who grew up in Palo Alto, announced his charity foundation's latest donation via social media once he arrived in Santa Cruz for quarantine.

"First day of quarantine for the G League and wanted to share some exciting philanthropy news! You already know the love I have for the Bay Area," he wrote on Instagram.

"I've been thinking more and more about how to do long-term, effective philanthropy and this year the Jeremy Lin Foundation has been working hard to better understand the needs of underserved AAPI youth. We're excited to donate over US$200,000 in grants to Bay Area organizations with a focus on AAPI youth.

"These past few years have been hard for many of us, including the Asian-American Pacific Islander community.

"Our community's needs are often overlooked because of the model minority myth and because we as a community often don't ask for help due to language barriers, lack of awareness of services, etc.

"Many of us know what it feels like to not feel confident because of our background and to not see ourselves reflected in the media. My hope is that more and more youth can learn to feel empowered in their identities and to be empowered to achieve their dreams."

The five youth organisations are Community Youth Center, East Bay Asian Youth Center, Asian-American Community Involvement, Harbor House and Stop AAPI Hate.

"Together they serve over 11,000 youth in the Bay Area in ways that are relational and high-impact. They have a strong track record on anti-bullying, mentoring, leadership development, and civic engagement. We are looking forward to working with them!"

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