Jeremy Lin: Game-Changer for Asian Kids?

Gish Jen likes seeing our stereotypes crumble
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2012 11:58 AM CST
Jeremy Lin: Game-Changer for Asian Kids?
New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin celebrates his game-winning 3-pointer earlier this week.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

Novelist Gish Jen loves the Jeremy Lin phenomenon for reasons that go well beyond basketball. When she sees the Knicks star play, she thinks of her older brother, now in his 50s, who was a gifted athlete growing up, she writes in the New York Times. But "when Bob was in his glory days, our Shanghainese-born parents were completely consumed with getting him into medical school." He never did become a doctor, and Jen wonders what might have happened had their parents encouraged his athletic pursuits the way Lin's parents encouraged his.

"Who knows what will happen now that athletic Asian-American kids can say, 'Look at Jeremy Lin!'?" she writes. "And other people, beholding Jeremy Lin, might come to better appreciate how complex Asian culture truly is—how malleable, too, and how poised to enrich America in yet more surprising ways." Americans often see China as a menace, but now "we have the Lins to remind us that China spells gifts, too." Full column here. (Read more Jeremy Lin stories.)

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