Jeremy Lin, the renowned evangelical Christian and free-agent point guard, recently embarked on his annual tour of Asia, where he shared his testimony and opened up about his passion for spreading the Gospel throughout the world.
Last weekend, the basketball star flew to Taiwan where he coached a basketball camp in Kaohsiung before attending a Christian gathering to share his testimony, according to Focus Taiwan. Following the Taiwan leg of his tour, Lin traveled to Taipei where he held promotional events and a meet-and-greet and took part in a charity event and seminar.
During an interview with Tian Wei in of CCTV News during the World Economic Forum in Tianjin, the 27-year-old athlete opened up about his Christian identity, his journey to the top as the first Chinese-American NBA player, and how he hopes to share the Gospel with the world.
"I think for me, slowly, as I got older, I learned to appreciate my identity in terms of who I am for myself versus allowing what other people think of me to shape who I am," he said. "A lot of that goes back to my faith. I'm a Christian, and so I always talk about how my identity comes first and foremost from Christ."
When asked about his future plans, Lin didn't hesitate to point to his passion for sharing the Gospel: "I want to bring Christ to parts of the world I feel like don't have access to understand what that's about," he said.
"Underprivileged children are something that's very near and dear to me," Lin added. "I grew up with a lot of teammates who - their parents never drove them to games, or they didn't have parents, or they didn't sleep well at night because of gunshots...Once I saw how my teammates grew up, I knew I wanted to do something."
The athlete said he hopes to grow basketball in China as well: "Growing up the US, we're so spoiled, we have access to the best coaching," he told Wei. "My dream is, when I get old and have gray hair and everything, is to be able to see in the NBA a bunch of Asians. I want to see the Asians like we see the European players in the NBA. That would be awesome."
Lin, who gained a huge following in Asia during the heady days of "Linsanity" when he was with the Knicks in 2012, also reflected on the fleeting nature of happiness gained from success: "I asked myself, 'If being on top of the world isn't good enough, what is?' That's when I took a big step spiritually and started to really enjoy the moment, enjoy each day. Now, as I go through my life - like this past season with the Hornets - that was my most enjoyable season. It wasn't my best statistical season, or anything like that, but I appreciated each little moment...before I was too focused on the next thing to appreciate what I had now."
He added that he strives to exhibit humility in all areas of life: "The Bible talks about how humility is true greatness, and I always thought it was a form of strength. When I started to play in the NBA...the best players are the most arrogant, so I really had to ask myself a lot of questions. But I still think humility is a form of strength..[The Hornets did well this year] because we had humility. I think there's a big difference between being humble and being stepped on."
Lin pointed to Tony Dungy and Steph Curry - both outspoken Christians - as great examples of men who demonstrate humility in the way they treat others, but excel in their respective athletic careers.
Before embarking on his annual tour of Asia, Lin asked his digital prayer group for support and asked people to pray for the events that will take place along the tour.
"I'm in Asia for my Asia tour and tonight I have, what I consider, possibly the most important event of the trip," Lin emailed his prayer group on Saturday. "Please pray for me to speak with love, to be empowered by Christ and for everyone who listens to have a soft heart to hear God's love and respond by giving their lives to Him."