(Photo: Retuers/Mark Leffingwell/Eric Miller)
New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin and Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow have begun to build a friendship on the foundation of their Christian faith.
Adrian Tam, Lin's former chaplain at Harvard University, told People magazine of their friendship.
"They've spoken over the telephone. Jeremy's been a fan of Tebow's for a while, but only recently were they able to connect," Tam said. "His comment to me was that Tim is a really great guy and that he's very inspired by him."
Tim Tebow also shared his admiration for Lin's success and demeanor in a Feb. 20, ESPN interview.
Tebow said he really liked him, respected him alot and wished him the best of luck.
"How he handles himself and how he carries himself, I think he's a great role-model," Tebow said. "I'm proud of it."
At the time, Tebow said that he hasn't met Lin personally, but advised him to stay true to himself and not to listen to anybody. He also thinks Lin is doing a good job handling the media and sudden barrage of press he's getting.
"I think he's handling himself great and I think he can take care of himself," Tebow said.
Lin and Tebow shared great success in college and re-wrote the record books of their respective college conferences. They are unique in their paths to professional stardom, however, with Tebow being a first-round draft pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, and Lin having to play in the NBA D-League before riding the Knicks' bench.
While many parallels can be drawn from their sports stories, the most important to them is that of their Christian faith. Both have expressed an interest in becoming pastors in the future and openly profess their love for Jesus Christ. Lin says he was inspired by Tebow's public display of his faith.
In November, while Lin was having dinner with former Harvard assistant coach Kenny Blakeney, CEO of the sports apparel company Sportin Scarves, Lin expressed his admiration for what Tebow stands for, according to People magazine.
"He goes, 'Man, I love what he stands for,'" Blakeney recalled.
Blakeney also said that their success is a result of their strong faith.
"There's something there [in their faith] that I think has given those guys the discipline to fight through and break down walls in their professions," Blakeney added.