Knicks' Jeremy Lin shows depth of Harvard sports

Thu, Feb 9
12:19
PM ET
Jeremy LinAP Photo/Nick WassHarvard's Jeremy Lin has inspired a cult following in New York after three breakout games.

While former Harvard University students dominate many facets of life in the U.S. -- politics, Fortune 500 companies, Hollywood, the Internet -- modern sports is one area where the needle-necks from Cambridge, Mass., don't rule. In sports, strangely, boasting an Ivy League education almost works as a black mark against a player's athletic prowess. The kid from Harvard, who didn't even get a full-ride basketball scholarship offer out of high school, is going to guard the five-star blue chipper everybody remembers from March Madness?

New York's newest cult hero, however, is helping bring some street cred to Crimson athletes. And Jeremy Lin isn't alone -- plenty of his fellow alumni have contributed to one of the best years for Harvard athletes since the mid-20th century.

Lin -- the undrafted, Taiwanese, blue-tongued Harvard graduate -- has three consecutive 20-point games for the New York Knicks, who are 3-0 since Linsanity began despite missing stars Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. In addition to possessing a gold mine of a name for easy puns, Lin has become basketball's version of Tim Tebow, a good-spirited, feel-good story who's polarizing only because so many people don't believe he can be for real.

Well, for now, after scoring 23 points Wednesday night against the Wizards, it appears Lin is real and here to stay. Add him to the list of Harvard men enjoying athletics success. Here's our Winklevoss-free roundup of the men bringing notoriety to Harvard athletics this year:

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills quarterback: The 2005 graduate led the Bills to a 3-0 start, made the Pro Bowl and grew perhaps the most impressive beard in sports. Buffalo rewarded the economics major with a six-year, $59 million contract in October. Not bad, although Fitzpatrick's old schoolmate, Mark Zuckerberg, ain't all that impressed.

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