Going wild with Linsanity

Kevin Kung

Two rising basketball stars had the summer of a lifetime when Jeremy Lin trained them, and they learned more than just skills

Kevin Kung |

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Angus Lee (far left) and Jason Ma spent five days being trained by NBA star Jeremy Lin.
Chinese basketball fans have been going Linsane for a while now. But two young local basketball stars had a real touch of Linsanity when they were lucky enough to attend a five-day training camp hosted by the NBA star, Jeremy Lin.

When the 2012-13 NBA regular season kicks off tomorrow, we will be seeing a lot more of the Houston Rockets player. But fellow point guards Angus Lee Chun-wai and Jason Ma Ka-chung got a much closer view of Lin in August when he hosted the 2012 J-Lin Basketball Camp in Dongguan , Guangdong.

Jason, 16, a Form Four student at CCC Kwei Wah Shan College, said Lin was not his idol. "My favourite player is the Boston Celtics' forward Paul Pierce, not Lin," Jason said. "But of course when I first met this superstar at the camp, I was really excited."

Eighty youngsters took part in the basketball clinic. Lin watched them play in matches and skill challenges to see if they could apply what he taught them in "tough" situations.

Every day, Lin - who believes that teamwork is the key to victory - selected three players who had the best attitude at the camp. Each received an autographed photo of Lin.

Angus, 17, a Form Six student and basketball captain of La Salle College, won one of the "Best Attitude" awards.

"I learned from Lin that we should not focus only on scoring and then neglect teamwork," said Angus. "We should always put the team before ourselves. I was delighted to receive this award from Lin."

Angus and Jason were among the few campers who were able to talk to Lin in English.

"Lin is a role model to me," said Angus. "We are both Christian and his success proves that a talented player can also balance his studies."

Angus also learned to be tough both on and off the court.

"Lin told us that there are always ups and downs in our life. Everybody can be moody sometimes and so is he. He didn't give up on his dream. He put himself back on the right track by praying to God," said Angus.

Back in Hong Kong, Jason and Angus said they would treasure the advice given by Lin, as much as the souvenir jersey they received from the Harvard graduate.

"Before, I was an all-rounder and I didn't have a skill that really stood out," said Jason. "But in the camp, I found the role that fits me best. Under Lin, I improved my footwork and shooting skills. Now I've decided I'm going to be a three-point shooter. At the same time, I realised the importance of having a good attitude on court."

A big fan of Lin, Angus changed the number of his school team jersey to 7 - the same as that of the NBA superstar.

"With last year's success, Lin has had to deal with enormous pressure as his fans have high expectations. But his new team, the Rockets, do not have a strong line-up now," said Angus. "I am in the same situation because our school team achieved really good results last year but now our core players have all graduated. We may not be title favourites at the moment, but Lin has inspired me. Miracles can happen, and Lin's career is one of them. I know I can have my own miracle, too!"