The Power of Social Media: Harvard's Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin averaged 9.8 points in just 18 minutes per game with the Dallas Mavericks Summer League team. (photo courtesy of Steve Slade)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Former Harvard guard and three-time All-Ivy League honoree Jeremy Lin ’10 signed a multiple-year professional contract with the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association this week.  Lin is attempting become the first Asian-American player to play in the NBA since Rex Walters was a member of the Miami Heat in 2000. It capped a busy week for Lin on the court as well as the social media scene.

Following an impressive game against No. 1 overall draft pick John Wall in the NBA Summer League last week, Lin's 2009-10 highlights on Youtube have recaived over 100,000 additional hits - well over 14,000 hits per day. On Wednesday, "Jeremy Lin" was one of the most searched-for terms on Google and he currently has over three million entries in the search engine. Over one million of those search hits have come during the past three days. 

With the many story lines following Lin, it was noted by several Bay area media members that more people attended his introduction at the Warriors' practice facility than for the team's draft picks. News articles about Lin has been "favorited" on Facebook at a rate of over 5,000 per article in the past week while the "Twittersphere" was ablaze with words of encouragement for Lin.

Social media could also very well explain the rumors that several companies are discussing a possible shoe endorsement for Lin. As training camp approaches, look for the internet to heat up again. But while social media has embraced the former Harvard star of late, Jeremy Lin has remained true to form - humble, appreciative and well-spoken in all arenas. In the biggest arena, the basketball court, he has simply done what he is always done. Now the world has simply started to pay attention.

Catch updates on Lin and other Harvard Athletiucs news on, Facebook and Twitter.

A native of Palo Alto, Calif., who guided Palo Alto High School to a state championship, Lin will now join his hometown professional franchise.  Lin recently averaged 9.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game, while playing with the Dallas Mavericks Summer League team earlier this month.  He scored 13 points against Washington July 15 and enjoyed a pair of 12-point efforts against Denver July 9 and Sacramento July 18.  Lin, who stands at 6-3, also shot 54.5 percent from the floor and 66.7 percent from behind the arc while averaging 18.6 minutes in those five games.

As a senior in 2009-10, Lin, 21, was a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, which goes to the nation’s top point guard as well as the John R. Wooden Award for the national player of the year.  A four-time Ivy League Player of the Week honoree this past season, Lin led the Crimson in scoring as a senior with 16.4 points per game.  He also paced Harvard with 4.6 assists per contest and topped the Ancient Eight with 71 steals, marking the third straight year he finished first in the Ivy League in steals.  Harvard also enjoyed the program's winningest season in 2009-10, as the team recorded 21 victories and qualified for the postseason for the first time since 1946.

A USBWA and NABC all-district team honoree, as well as a Lou Henson All-America selection, Lin completed his Harvard career as the only player in Ivy League history to record 1,450 points (1,482), 450 rebounds (494), 400 assists (406) and 200 steals (225).  Lin helped rewrite the Harvard record books, as he finished his career first in all-time games played (115) and was second in steals and fifth in points and assists.