Christian basketball star Jeremy Lin is donating a $1 million to his alma mater, Harvard University, to help pay for renovation of the school's basketball arena, Lavietes Pavilion, and for undergraduate financial aid.
"Without question, my time at Harvard prepared me well for success both on and off the court," the 28-year-old Brooklyn Nets guard said. "I'm honored to put that same world-class education in reach for deserving students and to support improvements to the facilities where I spent countless hours practicing and competing."
According to the Harvard Gazette, Lin played four years for the Crimson (2006-10), served as team captain his senior year, and was a three-time All-Ivy League selection. He was also the first player in Ivy League history to record 1,450 points (1,483), 450 rebounds (487), 400 assists (406), and 200 steals (225).
After going undrafted, he had a breakout season with the New York Knicks in 2012-13 and has since played for the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte Hornets and now the Nets. The Christian athlete is the fourth player from Harvard to play in the NBA, and the first since 1954.
Head coach Tommy Amaker thanked the Taiwanese-American athlete for his generosity, stating, "Few spaces on campus are as successful at gathering together our community as Lavietes Pavilion. I was fortunate to have coached such a remarkable person as Jeremy and I truly believe his commitment will allow us to better serve our campus community, energize current students, and excite future Harvard scholars and athletes."
In addition to playing basketball during his time at Harvard, Lin also studied economics, led a Bible study with some of his teammates, and was involved in the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, a Christian student organization that focuses on small-group Bible studies.
However, during a recent interview with CCTV-5, the main sports broadcaster in the People's Republic of China, Lin revealed that for him, success was not immediate. In fact, despite his obvious athletic ability, he was often overlooked because he is an Asian-American with an economics degree from Harvard.
Lin, who in July signed a $36 million deal with the Nets, revealed that people still sometimes call him inappropriate racial terms, and he's even been asked to present his credentials to prove that he's an NBA player.
To help fight the bullying of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Lin last year took part in a White House public campaign called "Act To Change", and in a recent article posted on the Newsela website, advised others on how to overcome adversity and bullying.
"My lesson that I learned and if there is anything I can pass on to you guys is a lot of times bullies bully other people because of insecurities they have in themselves. Don't let anyone else tell you who you are or what you can or can't do," he advised. "Definitely look inside yourself, have confidence in yourself, believe in yourself and understand what makes you such a unique and special person.Everybody has different and really cool characteristics and talents."
Lin encouraged the younger generation to remember that like him, it's possible to become stronger after surviving being bullied.
"Never lose sight of that and just always stay positive and hopefully one day you'll take a look back at these experiences and realize, 'hey me getting bullied or me having to go through these experiences only made me stronger.'"