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Arne Duncan Sings Jeremy Lin's Praises in Time 100 List

When you're looking to summarize the impact of the biggest professional sports icon since ... well, Tim Tebow, who do you call?

None other than the Secretary of Education, apparently.

Jeremy Lin, the undrafted New York Knicks point guard who set the basketball world on fire in February, was named to Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World" list on Wednesday.

And who wrote the 180-word blurb that accompanies the piece? Arne Duncan.

The secretary praised Lin, a Harvard University graduate, for proving that athletic success and academic success aren't mutually exclusive. Duncan wrote that Lin "achieved success the old-fashioned way: He earned it. He worked hard and stayed humble."

Lin also managed to overcome the prejudice against Asian-American players in the NBA, Duncan noted, in only a few short weeks. He's only the fourth Asian-American player in league history, according to the New York Times, and the first American-born player of Taiwanese or Chinese descent to ever play in the NBA.

"I don't care whether you are an Asian-American kid, white, black or Hispanic, Jeremy's story tells you that if you show grit, discipline, and integrity, you too can get an opportunity to overcome the odds," Duncan wrote.

Of course, this isn't the first time Duncan's weighed in on "Linsanity." Back in February, ESPN.com's Henry Abbott asked the secretary what he thought about Lin's rapid emergence into the national consciousness.

Duncan replied by calling himself "the head of [Lin's] cheerleading team" (after all, they do share the same alma mater), and 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."

Of course, Linsanity came to a grinding halt at the end of March, when Lin tore the meniscus in his left knee and had surgery to repair it. Assuming the Knicks make the playoffs, they'll likely be without the services of Lin for their first-round series, at the very least.

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