Time has named the most influential 100 people in the world. The list includes Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and the like ... and one NBA player. It's not LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard or even union president Derek Fisher.
That player is injured Knicks guard Jeremy Lin.
Contrary to what you might read, Jeremy, 23, is no overnight sensation. In fact, he achieved success the old-fashioned way: he earned it. He worked hard and stayed humble. He lives the right way; he plays the right way.
It's great to see good values rewarded in professional sports because that's not always the case.
It is easy to see that Lin does have tremendous influence, and could have far more should he want it. He is exceptionally well positioned to make powerful use of the platform that comes with international icon status: He builds relationships easily, for instance with teammates, he has a Harvard brain and powerful convictions which, so far, he has only deployed only in measured doses.
One gets the sense that could change, with time.
What's he about, though? Certainly issues of religion and character, which we are reminded of in the same issue of TIME, where Lin penned a tribute to influential person Tim Tebow. Lin writes:
Watching Tim Tebow play football, you can observe many things about his character. You see his fierce competitiveness, his strong work ethic and how he is a leader that his teammates trust and respect.
But it is the qualities that Tim, 24, embodies in his life off the field that truly set him apart. ... As athletes, we pour our hearts into winning games. Tim is a reminder that life is about much more than that.