Taiwan county wants Lin as honorary resident
TAIPEI – Taiwan’s Changhua county, the ancestral home of New York Knicks star Jeremy Lin, said Friday it plans to make the US-born player an honorary resident as the NBA phenomenon continues to wow the island.
“Lin is the glory of Changhua and the pride of Taiwan. We are planning to make him an honorary resident to recognize his outstanding performance,” the county government said in a statement.
Taiwan is firmly in the grasp of “Lin-sanity,” with his fans ranging from President Ma Ying-jeou to local teenagers craving for any news related to the NBA sensation.
Ma, a Harvard graduate as is Lin, gave a thumbs-up when asked by reporters to comment on the basketball star on Thursday while a number of top government officials have also jumped onto the Lin bandwagon this week.
“Lin led the New York Knicks to six victories in a row. He is awesome,” economics minister Shih Yen-shiang wrote on his Facebook page before Lin led the team to a seventh consecutive victory.
“We have many more talented athletes with potential who need support and sponsorship. I urge corporations to take a more active role and help more athletes to become the glory of Taiwan,” he said.
Taiyen Co, Taiwan’s largest salt maker, rolled out special commemorative bottles of sports drinks bearing the label of “17 Taiwan glory”, referring to his squad number. It has vowed to recruit him as a product spokesman.
The Taiwan Sports Lottery is benefiting from Lin’s winning streak, with buyers placing a record Tw$11 million ($366,000) in bets for a single game for the New York Knicks vs Sacramento on Wednesday, it said.
Lin, the first US-born NBA player of Taiwanese descent, has captured attention worldwide after coming off the Knicks bench and helping New York to several triumphs.
Lin has said he plans on going to the island after this NBA season is complete to return to a basketball camp he took part in last year.
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