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Taiwanese NJ Mayor: Lin Symbolic of Asian Americans’ Struggle

Posted: Mar 05, 2012

Two long years ago Jeremy Lin had a nightmare of a game at Princeton towards the end of his collegiate career. The Tigers’ defense shut down Harvard’s leading scorer, who before that night had enjoyed plenty of success in Ivy League play. Lin was anything but a star on the court the night of March 6, 2010, as Princeton held him to 1 for 8 shooting and rejected his shot attempts in the final minute to stop Harvard, 54-51.

One observer who was there that night said “he had talent, but he was not particularly strong or big or athletic, like most basketball players.” That wasn’t the image they had of Lin going into the game, though.

As a junior a year earlier, on January 31, 2009, Lin racked up 27 points to beat Princeton. It was around then that he caught the attention of media back in Taiwan taking note of a budding basketball star thriving just outside of Boston at America’s leading academic institution. Linsanity had actually started across the world but had not come close to trickling down I-95, probably not even as far from Cambridge as Providence, Rhode Island.

Few at that Princeton game had heard of Lin. The novelty of an Asian American basketball player was a given, but leave it to a local politician and a pioneer in his own right to recognize Lin as a
budding star.

The fan who came out to see Lin while supporting Princeton, the university his son attended, was Shing-Fu Hsueh, the mayor of West Windsor, New Jersey – a lavish, eclectic suburb midway between New York City and Philadelphia. Hsueh is the first and only Taiwanese-American to be mayor of an American town. He took over as West Windsor’s leader in 2001 — just ahead of 9/11, which claimed the lives of six residents of the township. Read more here.

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