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Jeremy Lin manages to practice despite tight schedule in Taipei

2012/08/04 16:27:58

Taipei, Aug. 4 (CNA) NBA star Jeremy Lin arrived in Taiwan early Saturday 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 4:55 a.m., Lin, the first American-born NBA player of Taiwanese descent, headed directly to a five-star hotel in bustling eastern Taipei.

After snatching some rest, the 23-year-old point guard left the hotel at 10 a.m. and went to a high school in New Taipei 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 practicing, Lin appeared surprised to see so many enthusiastic fans greeting him. At one point as he battled his way through the crowd, he seemed to whisper "Oh, my" to himself.

He then headed back to the hotel to get ready for later events.

Lin was scheduled to meet with local fans at an event organized by his sponsors at 6 p.m. in the Ximenting area of Taipei, a popular hangout for teenagers.

Due to time restraint, Lin was unlikely to be able to visit the ancestral home of his father's relatives in Changhua County in central Taiwan. Many fans there expressed disappointment and looked forward to seeing him in late August, when he returns to Taiwan.

On Sunday, he will attend a news conference at 2 p.m. in Taipei's upscale Hsinyi District.

This will be Lin's first visit to Taiwan since his meteoric rise from obscurity with the New York Knicks earlier this year and his recent signing of a three-year, US$25 million contract to play for the Houston Rockets.

Following Sunday's event, Lin will fly to China for a basketball camp. He will return to Taiwan to host a similar camp for a group of 120 young players Aug. 27-30.

Lin will also attend an evangelical gathering hosted by a local television station on Sept. 2.

(By James Lee)