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Arne Duncan, Education Media Develop Case of Linsanity, Too

What do the secretary of education, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Washington Post all have in common?

They've all recently spoken or written about lessons that students can derive from the unlikely success story of Jeremy Lin, the undrafted New York Knicks point guard and Harvard grad who's taken the nation by storm the past two weeks by helping his team win seven straight games.

And here you thought Linsanity was reserved for just the National Basketball Association.

In a phone interview with ESPN.com's Henry Abbott, Arne Duncan said:


"I'm so thrilled that someone of his character is so successful. I'm thrilled for him, and I'm thrilled at the example. Not the talk, the walk that he has walked for a long time, and the example it sets for kids. That's the thing that I'm happiest about. We need a lot more Jeremy Lins having these kinds of opportunities."

Duncan, a former Harvard basketball player himself, called himself "the head of [Lin's] cheerleading team" in his interview with ESPN.com. Remember, Duncan hasn't hung up the old basketball shoes for good. Last year, he was limited by back pain that started from a sports injury.

Meanwhile, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article this week that largely echoed Duncan's praise of Lin's work ethic.

"There's a whole lot that's appealing about Lin, but I'll finish with this: Lin was looked over, turned down, persevered, had a little bit of luck, and then landed at the top. We all love a story where a Harvard reject makes it big in the end."

While I can't think of too many Harvard grads struggling to get job auditions off the top of my head, it's certainly true that America tends to love underdog stories. (Take one look at the "Rocky" movies and try to argue otherwise.)

Finally, Fred Bowen of the Washington Post suggested one lesson that all children can learn from Lin's sudden success story:

"Lin is a good reminder to kids that just because you don't look like a player doesn't mean you can't play. There are lots of examples of athletes who don't look typical for their sport but are terrific players. ... If you like a sport, play the sport. Don't let people say you're too small or don't look like a player. Practice hard, have fun, and see how far your talent takes you."

What has Lin's meteoric rise to success taught you? What lessons do you hope your kids derive from Lin's incredible story? Share your thoughts down in the comments, along with any other education-related Linsanity you can find.

Photo: New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin (17) celebrates with Jared Jeffries after Lin scored a game-winning 3-point shot in an NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors in Toronto on Feb. 14. The Knicks won 90-87. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press/AP)

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