Thursday, April 11, 2013

Jeremy Lin And Taylor King

In 2006, an underdog Palo Alto high school boys varsity basketball upset a highly regarded Mater Dei high school team in the California State Division II basketball championships 51-47:

Jeremy Lin's NBA 3-pointer broke Mater Dei's back
By now, most of you know the story.  Palo Alto was led by Jeremy Lin and this game has been mentioned many times over as part of Jeremy Lin's journey to the NBA.  While most stories reference Mater Dei as a powerhouse, they don't mention how much of a powerhouse.

Palo Alto had only one player on a Division I college basketball roster (Jeremy Lin) while Mater Dei had EIGHT players that made Division I teams including one Taylor King.

King was a big 6'7" kid that was well known throughout Southern California and apparently had committed to Duke as an 8th grader.  When Palo Alto faced Mater Dei, much of the focus was on how Palo Alto would stop King.  Jeremy Lin was mentioned but not prominently.  

For all of the Lin fans out there, we all know Lin's journey.  For me, I always wondered happened to Taylor King.  Here is a recent article updating everyone what happened to him:

Back from the depths, ex-phenom Taylor King finding himself, looking for his game

The main point in talking about Taylor King?  Jeremy Lin recently went onto 60 Minutes to talk about his experience getting to the NBA.  He talked about how there may have been some discrimination because he was Asian American.  Indeed there may have been, but this path had made Jeremy Lin appreciate where he has gotten. 

In the case of King, it's an example of how much pressure highly touted players go through.  Jeremy Lin may not have gotten a lot of recruiting attention but that may have been for the best.  College basketball recruiting and NBA scouting is purely a business affair.  Jeremy Lin didn't have to fight off tons of colleges fighting for him, agents trying to get him to sign, etc.  

It is entirely funny how King and Lin's paths have diverged.  I'm thrilled Lin got to the NBA and is doing well.  I don't know King but sounds like he's had some struggles.  I hope he does get his life straight and if can get to the NBA, it would make for an interesting reunion between Lin and him (not sure if they would even remember each other). 

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