Linspired: The Remarkable Rise of Jeremy Lin

Linspired: The Remarkable Rise of Jeremy Lin


Book: Linspired: The Remarkable Rise of Jeremy Lin

Author: Mike Yorkey

Publisher: Zondervan, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0-310-32068-5

Related website: (publisher)

Language level: 1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Reading level: Teens and adults

Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Any books donated for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

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     Yorkey, MikeLinspired: The Remarkable Rise of Jeremy Lin (published in 2012 by Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI  49530).  I am not a big sports fan to begin with.  And of the three main professional team sports in the United States—baseball, football, and basketball—the one about which I know and care the least is basketball.  However, even I have heard of “Linsanity.”  Jeremy Shu-How Lin was born on August 23, 1988, in Los Angeles, CA, to Christian parents who are Taiwanese immigrants to the United States, and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Palo Alto.  He played basketball at Palo Alto High School, growing from five feet, three inches to six feet, two inches, then adding just over another inch in college.  After receiving no athletic scholarship offers out of high school, he played for Harvard University, and being undrafted out of college, he reached a partially guaranteed contract deal in 2010 with his hometown Golden State Warriors but played very little and was assigned to the NBA Development League (D-League) three times. 

     Lin was waived by the Warriors and then by the Houston Rockets, the following preseason before joining the New York Knicks early in the 2011–12 season, with whom he unexpectedly led a winning streak by New York after being promoted to the starting lineup following the injury of another player, and generated a global following known as Linsanity.  However, one of the most noticeable things about Lin is that he is known for his public expression of his Christianity.  Author Mike Yorkey, a sportswriter whose articles have appeared in such magazines as Skiing, Tennis, and Breakaway, and a former editor of Focus on the Family Magazine, included a chapter about Lin in his 2011 book Playing with Purpose: Inside the Lives and Faith of Top NBA Stars.  However, with the onset of Linsanity, Yorkey decided to write an entire book which chronicles not only Lin’s background and rise to stardom in the basketball world but also the place which his faith plays in his life. 

     Following the writing of Linspired, Lin, who is one of the few Asian Americans in NBA history and the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the league, has signed a three-year contract with the Rockets.  While perhaps not as overt in his profession of Christianity as football player Tom Tebow, with whom Yorkey makes several comparisons, Lin is nonetheless quite open about his faith.  Yorkey writes, “What interested me more about Jeremy—after having spoken with him—was his deep reservoir of faith, his commitment to seeing himself as a Christian first and a basketball player second.  Here was a polite, humble, and hardworking young man who understood that God had a purpose for his life, whatever that might be” (pp. 12-13).  Those who are into basketball will best appreciate this book, especially the discussions involving some of the intricacies of the game, but it can be enjoyed by anyone.  The sports world, and our culture in general, need more good examples like Jeremy Lin.

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