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Lin didn’t quit

February 20, 2012
By MIKE MATHISON - Sports editor ( , The Herald-Star

The Jeremy Lin story is amazing on a lot of fronts.

The main one is that the guy never quit.

No one wanted him out of high school and no one in the NBA wanted him.

He was one substitution away from being cut for the third time in the NBA.

Yet, Linsantiy is everywhere.

It's - yes - Lincredible.

Lin was the Player of the Year in California.


Do you know how many great players come out of California?

Me neither, but I would guess it is a few more than out of Rhode Island, Delaware, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.

Harvard was his back-up plan.

Back-up plan?

Lin led Palo Alto High School to a 32-1 record and the Division II state title in 2006 after a 51-47 win over nationally-ranked Mater Dei High School.

He was named first-team all-state and the Northern California Player of the Year, averaging 15.1 points, 7.1 assists, 6.2 rebounds and five steals a game.

The Stanford campus is a few jumpers away from Palo Alto High School and Cardinal coach Trent Johnson didn't want him.

Neither, did Cal, or UCLA, or USC, or Texas, or Arizona, or Duke, or North Carolina, or Nebraska, or Creighton, or any other Division I college you can name.

The PAC 10 schools wanted him to walk on.

No one wanted him.

How does the nation miss on the California player of the year?

Yep, stuff happens.

So, Lin took his 4.2 GPA and went to Massachusetts.

During this junior year he was the only Division I men's basketball player who was ranked in the top 10 in his conference in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, blocked shots, field goal percentage, free throw percentage and three-point shooting percentage.

Lin averaged 16.4 points, 4.5 assists, 4.4 rebounds, 2.4 steals and 1.1 blocks his senior year.

He finished his career as the first player in Ivy League history to record at least 1,450 points, 450 rebounds, 400 assists and 200 steals.

Yet, no one wanted him.

But, he never quit.

Congratulations to Weirton Madonna graduate Max Nogay on receiving the starting nod at catcher for the WVU baseball team. He spent last year as a redshirt freshman as the bullpen catcher.

He is 2 for 10 so far with a double, two runs scored and has 16 putouts and three assists in 19 chances.

The Mountaineers head to South Carolina to meet Virginia Tech, North Carolina State and George Mason this week.

For as much garbage that has been going on at Penn State, the students at the school raised $10.6 million for kids with cancer.

That's how you define you - doing something for others.

The fifth year of the Wheeling Hospital Ohio Valley Athletic Conference basketball championships went off well again the past two Saturdays.

My biggest complaint about the tournament is that teams in the same section have and will continue to meet for the third time during the event. That means when they meet in sectional play, it'll be the fourth encounter.

That's not good on anybody's radar and I understand it has nothing to do with the tournament organizers.

Theoretically, the Wheeling Park and Morgantown boys basketball teams could end up playing each other five times - the fifth being in Charleston.

My newest complaint is about former Wheeling Park boys basketball coach Sam Andy on the radio broadcast of WKKX.

These are supposed to be impartial announcers and when one of the announcers says "we" a bajillion times (OK, maybe not a bajillion, but way too many times), then something is wrong and has to be fixed.

I understand he won a lot of basketball games as the Patriots coach and did a lot of good things.

But, I also understand coach Andy being on the radio when Park plays a team from out of the area, but when two local teams get after it, "we" cannot be a part of anyone's vocabulary.

And, when Andy said, "I bet we beat Indian Creek by 20" when it was suggested to him at halftime that the Redskins were staying with the Patriots, is completely unacceptable.

I get the allegiance with Wheeling Park.

I understand the Myron Cope thing with Sam Andy.

It just cannot be done then.

Bill Haas was interviewed by Peter Kostis at the end of his round of Sunday's PGA Tour event at Riviera Country Club. Haas said he was heading to the driving range with a one shot lead because he knew Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley would both birdie the 18th hole to get into a playoff.

Mind you, there had only been six birdies on the hole the entire day.

Sure enough, Mickelson and Bradley buried putts to get into the three-man playoff.

Haas won the playoff on the second hole with a 45-foot birdie putt.

He won, in part, because he was not surprised when, on the range, he heard two huge roars from around the 18th green.

He was prepared, not surprised.

Nice trade by the Pirates getting A.J. Burnett.

Be your best today and be better tomorrow.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at

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