Sports craze ‘Linsanity' hitting the big screen - FOX 32 News Chicago

Sports craze ‘Linsanity' hitting the big screen

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Last year, the sports craze known as "Linsanity" hit the world by storm. Now, it's hitting the big screen.

A film about the meteoric rise of an Asian-American basketball player by the name of Jeremy Lin is creating a lot of buzz after a screening in Chicago.

The filmmakers want to make it clear that this isn't just a basketball or sports story. "Linsanity" follows the improbable rise of Jeremy Lin as an NBA star. It's a story about how race is perceived in America and also believing in yourself even when no one else does.

Lin, against all odds and naysayers, went from the benchwarmer to a global basketball sensation.

"I still have to pinch myself to really believe it...who is this kid? Nobody thought he could play,"" Lin says in the film

His early days began as northern California's player of the year. The American-born athlete of Taiwanese descent was constantly reminded he didn't fit the mold. He was often taunted. And as the star player at Harvard he was undrafted by the NBA.

Brian Yang co-produced the independent film documenting Lin's meteoric rise. The title "Linsanity" refers to the global craze that followed when in 2012, the backup point guard led a winning streak for the New York Knicks.

"I feel as an Asian-American have to something amazing and then I get the respect," Jack Gang said.

Gang says Lin's life is not only inspiring but his presence on the hardwood is also breaking down Asian stereotypes.

"Even when Yao Ming first came out, that's not normal..but Jeremy made it seem possible," Gang said.

And this is what the filmmakers hope – that the story of the six foot three unlikely NBA star inspires people from all walks of life.

"I think it has to appeal to all race and ages, because it really does show if you want something badly enough and you work hard on it, and you have the -- you can develop the skills, you can get whatever you want," Reva Minkoff said.

"It's really a human story who went through an extraordinary journey," Yang said.

The 25-year-old Lin is entering his second season with the Houston Rockets and is the first Asian-American to play in the NBA in modern times.

"Linsanity" is now playing at the AMC Theatre on 322 East Illinois Street. The limited showing was supposed to end Thursday but because of the positive response to the film, it will be showing through the end of next week.

The AMC South Barrington will show the film beginning Friday.

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