"Now I'm blushing," Jeremy Lin tweeted Wednesday in response to a New York Knicks teammate's congratulations on his being placed on Time magazine's "Time 100" list of the 100 most influential people in the world for 2012.
The short sentence reflects the generally low profile the 23-year-old Harvard economics graduate prefers to maintain.
His selection is no ordinary achievement. He is the first NBA player to join the "Time 100" ranks since Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash made the 2006 list and Miami Heat forward LeBron James made the 2005 list.
Lin, the first person of Taiwanese descent ever to play in NBA, tops the "Time 100" list for 2012, while the world's top-ranked female golfer Yani Tseng of Taiwan is placed at 17th.
All major Taiwanese newspapers prominently reported on Thursday the duo's entry into the latest "Time 100" list.
The following are excerpts from their coverage of the two outstanding athletes' stories and career impacts:
United Daily News:
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan wrote Time's entry on Lin, praising him for his work ethic and academic success.
"Jeremy, 23, is no overnight sensation. In fact, he achieved success the old-fashioned way: he earned it. He worked hard and stayed humble. He lives the right way; he plays the right way," Duncan wrote.
Duncan did not ignore the storyline of the Knicks point guard's ethnicity playing a role in his meteoric rise to international stardom.
"He's dispelled the idea that Asian-American guards somehow couldn't hack in the NBA," Duncan said of Lin's overall impact and celebrity with Asian-Americans.
Describing Lin's story as one of perseverance, determination and belief in one's self, Duncan wrote: "It's great to see good values rewarded in professional sports because that's not always the case."
As the education secretary, Duncan added: "I don't care whether you are an Asian-American kid, white, black or Hispanic, Jeremy's story tells you that if you show grit, discipline and integrity, you too can get an opportunity to overcome the odds. (April 19, 2012).
Jeremy Lin's fellow influential list members include Tim Tebow, the New York Jets' famously religious backup quarterback in the National Football League to whom many have compared the also religious Lin.
Lin wrote the Time's eulogy for Tebow.
Watching Tebow play football, Lin said one can observe many things about his character -- his fierce competitiveness, his strong work ethic and how he is a leader that his teammates trust and respect.
"But it is the qualities that Tim, 24, embodies in his life off the field that truly set him apart," Lin wrote.
Through his foundation, Lin said, Tebow constantly reaches out to people and communities in need of hope.
"He realizes what he has been blessed with and seeks to help those who are worse off. As athletes, we pour our hearts into winning games. Tim is a reminder that life is about much more than that," Lin praised. (April 19, 2012).
Yani Tseng, who is currently playing in the LPGA LOTTE Championship in Honolulu, is the only female athlete to make the "Time 100" list for 2012.
Annika Sorenstam, a Hall of Fame golfer who won 72 LPGA titles in her remarkable career, said in an eulogy that Tseng's dominance in the current women's golf landscape is unquestionable.
"At 23, she's already won a career's worth of tournaments and prize money. But even more impressive ... is the way she wins," Sorenstam wrote.
Praising Tseng as a rare talent with the ability to energize a new generation of LPGA fans, the retired Swedish "golf queen" added: "While there's no way of knowing how many records she'll shatter, Yani's blend of skill, grace and work ethic will be a powerful force on the LPGA tour for years to come."
China's president-in-waiting, Xi Jinping, and Guangdong Province Governor Wang Yang as well as U.S. President Barack Obama and business tycoons Warren Buffett and Tim Cook are also high on this year's "Time 100" list. (April 19, 2012).
(By Sofia Wu)