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Jeremy Lin recalls fun nighttime session on Taipei street court

2012/08/30 22:55:57

Taipei, Aug. 30 (CNA) Visiting NBA star Jeremy Lin said Thursday that he had a good time playing with local basketballers during an unscheduled session on a street basketball court in Taipei Wednesday evening.

"We had a lot of fun last night," Lin said, citing the love and passion for basketball he felt on the court.

Lin was responding to a reporter's question about the surprise visit made by Lin and his friend David Lee, power forward and center for the Golden State Warriors, who helped Lin with coaching work at a four-day summer camp in Taipei.

At Thursday's closing ceremony of the summer camp for Taiwanese youngsters, the 24-year-old point guard said he appreciated the "opportunity to be able to go out" and interact with local players and fans.

Lin, the first American-born NBA player of Taiwanese descent, spent some 30 minutes on the street court with the local youth, drawing more than 100 onlookers.

He also threw a pair of sneakers, signed by himself and Lee, to the crowd before leaving the court.

On Thursday morning, Lin and Lee played with a group of players from Taiwan Beer basketball team. The team is one of the participants in the Super Basketball League, the top-tier basketball league in Taiwan.

Asked if he would like to play a game with Taiwanese professional basketball players, Lin said as a basketball lover, he would love to play if given a chance.

It does not have to be playing "against" them, he said, adding that just playing together "would be really cool."

Lin, who is on a nine-day visit to Taiwan, also said that maintaining his health is his top priority in preparation for the new NBA season, which will open later this year.

"The second thing is to improve my weaknesses from last year," he said, adding that he hopes to become more versatile.

At the media's request, Lin also spoke a few Chinese sentences expressing his gratitude for those who supported his summer camp.

One of his goals is to improve his Chinese-language ability so that he can coach more efficiently.

Over the past four days, Lin spoke mostly in English at the camp, with an interpreter by his side to translate his commands into Chinese.

At the camp, Lin and Lee also played a game with the participants from junior high schools, wowing the spectators on the sidelines with their skills such as slam dunks.

Next on Lin's itinerary is a private charity event Friday, followed by a sponsor's event the next day.

Lin will then join an evangelical gathering hosted by a local television station Sept. 2 before his departure for the United States the following day.

The NBA sensation paid a short visit to Taipei earlier this month, during which local media kept a close eye on every single move Lin and his family made.

Lin, whose meteoric rise early this year with the New York Knicks attracted widespread attention, signed a three-year, US$25.1 million contract with the Houston Rockets last month after the Knicks failed to match the offer.

(By Elaine Hou)