NBA star Jeremy Lin (林書豪) arrived in Taiwan early yesterday and still managed to spend some time practicing his basketball skills despite a tight schedule during his two-day stay in Taipei.
Upon arrival in Taiwan on a China Airlines flight at 4:55am, Lin, the first US-born NBA player of Taiwanese descent, headed directly to a hotel in bustling eastern Taipei.
After snatching some rest, the 23-year-old point guard left the hotel at 10am and went to Nanshan High School in New Taipei City (新北市) to get in some basketball practice.
Although the practice session was not part of his official schedule, hundreds of fans gathered outside the gym once news spread that he was practicing there.
Stepping out of the gym after nearly five hours of practice, Lin appeared surprised to see so many enthusiastic fans. At one point, as he battled his way through the crowd, he appeared to whisper “Oh, my” to himself.
He then headed back to the hotel to get ready for later events.
Meanwhile, his new Houston Rockets Gametime T-shirts went on sale in Taiwan at 11am yesterday, with people lining up outside three exclusive sports stores in Taipei.
The first batch of 200 T-shirts are being sold at NT$1,090 each, said Adidas Taiwan, an official NBA business partner.
More outlets will offer the new T-shirts from Saturday.
The T-shirts are red, with the word “Rockets” emblazoned in white on the front above Lin’s No.7. Lin’s name and his number are printed on the back of the T-shirts.
According to the Rockets’ official Web site, the retail price for a Jeremy Lin Gametime T-shirt is US$24.99.
Adidas Taiwan said that Houston Rockets Jeremy Lin Swingman jerseys are scheduled to go on sale in November at the earliest.
Kate Huang, 21, was at the front of the line at a store in eastern Taipei, having arrived there at 7:30am.
Huang described herself as a big fan of Lin, saying that she had fallen for the basketball star’s on-court charisma.