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What's It Like to Play on the Same Basketball Team as Jeremy Lin?

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Answer by Ryan Glasgow

I played on the 6th grade basketball team with Jeremy.

We both attended The King's Academy in 6th grade, which was roughly 50 kids in the class. Given the small size, I got to know him fairly well even though he only stayed at TKA for a year before transferring to a Jr. High closer to home.

He was exceptionally gifted both academically and in basketball, although it always seemed like basketball took the back seat.

In basketball, he was by far our best player. In a typical game we would win 29-26, with Jeremy scoring 22 of our points. He was indeed exceptionally quick, but it seemed fleeting. He was average height at the time, but thinner than the rest of us. Even though he was a standout player I don't think anyone expected him to do well at the higher levels. It's common to see smaller, shifty athletes not play as well at the more competitive levels when contact picks up and size becomes a factor. Adding to that, his parents were short so it didn't seem like he would add much height. When I played football against Jahvid Best in high school, there was a much different feeling. Everyone knew he would go pro, to the extent that a few of my teammates asked for his autograph after the game. Jeremy was a much different story and I'd say most of us assumed he would start to blend in as he advanced.

Near the end of the season against our rivals, Valley Christian Dublin, we were warming up and Jeremy was nowhere to be found. He was always on time, and when the game started we weren't really sure what to do. He was our biggest scorer and not having him there surely meant a loss. As the first half continued, we kept looking around wondering why he wasn't there, and started to worry. At the half, sans Jeremy, we were down 16-10. As we wrapped up our halftime huddle, Jeremy sheepishly walked in and our whole team (plus our fans) erupted. After we all gave him a high five, I remember someone asked him why he was so late and he softly muttered "violin practice." The coach threw him in the game and we went on to win by two points!

Academically, he got straight A's and I remember he was in the Spelling Bee with my brother. They had were both chosen to represent the class after our grade held a spelling competition.

Later on, I went to the CCS Championship when he was a senior at Palo Alto High School. After the win, I went up and talked to him after the game, and I was shocked how much taller he was than me. I finally realized he was the real deal. I don't think I've met anyone as humble or as hard working as Jeremy and I'm really glad he's having such success. If anyone deserves this, it's him.

He's #33 (middle row, center left). I'm #5.

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Cross-posted from the original question page on Quora.

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