The Jeremy Lin Foundation held its inaugural event on Valentine's Day with the aim of helping underprivileged children.
The foundation’s “The Making a Difference” project will benefit three Houston-based charities Workshop Houston, the Yellowstone Academy and the city’s Partnership for the Advancement and Immersion of Refugees (PAIR).
Current NBA players Chandler Parsons, David Lee, Tyson Chandler, Stephen Curry, Steve Novak and Joakim Noah and retired Rockets center Yao Ming were among those who attended the event, held in the atrium and concourse at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros.
The 24-year-old Lin, whose rags-to-riches story has touched the average basketball fans, shared, “I feel like this was always something that I wanted to do…I didn’t know I could do it at this level and be able to have a foundation and do an event like this.”
Former Houston Rocket center Yao Ming shakes hand with Jeremy Lin. (Chinanews.com)
It was only a year ago that Lin’s record-breaking performance in New York sent off the phenomenon dubbed Linsanity. Shortly after, Houston stunned the Knicks by signing Lin, a restricted free agent, to a three-year, $25 million contract.
“I think I’ve learned to understand what it means to have a platform and how to use that the right way and how to do it in a positive way, and I’m still learning what that means every day, said Lin, who has attributed his meteoric rise to international stardom to God.
"But I feel like this is a step forward in being able to use the attention that we're given for society and be able to bring to other people or organizations in need, I would say, more urgent matters than just the game of the basketball."
Lin greeted guests on a red carpet, posed for pictures and even played piano, according to Reuters. At the end of the event, he challenged the Rockets general manager Daryl Morey in ping pong, which Lin lost.
30 Jeremy Lin Foundation inaugural ceremony (Chinanews.com)
Lin, the NBA’s first American player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent, was raised in San Francisco Bay Area in California and says he would like to expand the foundation’s reach to that area. Moreover, he hopes that the foundation’s service can reach to third-world countries.
"Somewhere, years down the road, I definitely want to make an impact within third-world countries and for our foundation to be able to do work in a lot of different areas across the world," he said. "This is definitely the first step."