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Positive Thinker: Jeremy Lin, Professional Basketball Player

The Taiwanese-American hoops star shares his favorite Bible verse, his real-life hero and his reaction to a new documentary about his sudden 2012 ascent with the New York Knicks.

Jeremy Lin smiling and talking about where to pray
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One detail about you that people would find surprising I’m not nearly as humble as other people have portrayed me to be. I’ve always tried to cut away at this image of me as being a super humble guy. In reality, I am fighting pride a lot, every day, all the time.

Favorite Bible verse Joshua 1:9 has helped me in tough times: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Best advice you’ve ever gotten From my mom: “Do your best and trust God with the rest.” I can be anxious and want to control things.

One thing you do for your spiritual well-being I sabbath once a week. For 24 hours a week, I don’t do any work to rest myself emotionally and physically. I also try to be intentional about blocking off time with God at least once a day.

Real-life hero My older brother, Josh. In many ways, he taught me, modeled for me and challenged me on how to be a man—not in the way that society defines it—but to love God, to love others, to be humble and selfless and to serve even when you’re in leadership.

Go-to place to pray Usually somewhere quiet or outdoors. I really like going into my backyard or going into the garage, somewhere no one else is.

Occupation you would pursue if not your current one Some type of philanthropy. Philanthropy and giving back have always been near and dear to my heart.

The hardest thing you’ve ever done Trying to go through fame and “Linsanity” and all these changes with the people I love. One of the things I’m proud of is continuing to stand by the people I love the most.

Early riser or night owl? I am definitely a night owl.

Favorite comfort food Burgers or ice cream or pizza!

Song at the top of your playlist Right now it’s “Way Maker” by Nigerian gospel singer Sinach.

You were an undrafted player whom the New York Knicks played sparingly. In 2012, they promoted you to the starting lineup and you led the team to a seven-game winning streak, one night scoring 38 points on Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, which started a cultural phenomenon known as “Linsanity.” After looking at the documentary 38 at the Garden, which features this period in your life, what do you hope viewers take away from it? I hope viewers take away a sense of self-reflection about where we are as a society and ask ourselves how we can do more to make a better world for the next generation.

Do you have a favorite moment in 38 at the Garden? All the interviews are great, but I especially love the interviews with Hasan Minhaj, Ronnie Chieng and Jenny Yang. They did an amazing job being insightful and funny. I loved how Hasan described the Toronto game and the wave-off. [Editor’s note: This was the game on February 14, 2012, when Jeremy, waves off his own teammate and the expected pick-and-roll play to take the final three-point shot and win the game himself.] He described it so eloquently.

What went through your mind as you were watching 38 at the Garden? A sense of appreciation and gratitude. I was really proud of having been a part of the “Linsanity” experience and to be in a place where I can retell it and people still care about it. I almost break down in tears thinking about the last part of the movie. It was a roller coaster of emotions between nostalgia, tremendous joy, laughter and sadness.

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