(Photo: REUTERS/Nicky Loh)
Jeremy Lin, 24-year-old New York Knicks point guard who was forced to leave his team after a regular season-ending knee injury, was selected as a divisional winner of the NBA Sportsmanship Award.
The NBA Sportsmanship Award honors players who represents sportsmanship during the season. Although Lin was chosen to represent the Atlantic division, he will compete against other division leaders such as Cleveland's Antawn Jamison, Dallas' Jason Kidd, the Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul, Miami's Shane Battier and Minnesota's Luke Ridnour.
The NBA players were chosen to be division winners for the 2011-12 NBA season by a panel of five former NBA players. Greg Anthony, John Crotty, Antonio Davis, Eddie Johnson and Kenny Smith picked six divisional winners out of 30 team nominations.
Lin was reportedly chosen for the humility he showed during a phenomenon dubbed "Linsanity." Although Lin received two Sports Illustrated covers, broke records and dominated headlines since starting for the Knicks in February, he focused the attention on God, his teammates and coaching staff.
After his first week starting for the NBA, Lin managed to become the first player in NBA history to put up numbers of at least 20 points and seven assists in each of his first four starting games. Lin also made history in his first week starting for an NBA team as the second-highest scoring player in league history over a period of four game starts. However, the guard's accolades have surprised many, since multiple teams waived Lin from their rosters and he was playing in the NBA D-League only a few weeks before starting for the Knicks.
At one point, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg showed support for Lin via Twitter after he was named the "Eastern Conference Player of the Week" in February.
"Congrats to @JLin7 on being named NBA player of the Week," Bloomberg tweeted. "Looking forward to more #Linsanity"
Still, Lin kept the focus on his faith in the midst of his new-found attention.
"I'm thinking about how can I trust God more. How can I surrender more? How can I bring him more glory," Lin said in a Mercury News report. "It's a fight. But it's one I'm going to keep fighting."
The winner of the 2011-2012 NBA Sportsmanship Award will be announced at the end of the NBA regular season.