NBA star Jeremy Lin teaches kids basketball to celebrate his 31st birthday in Fuzhou, East China's Fujian Province, 23 August 2019. (Photo: IC)
"Linsanity" will hit the Chinese mainland again after the Chinese-American NBA player Jeremy Lin signed with the Beijing Shougang Ducks in next season's Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), which experts said is an example of China's cultural attraction for overseas Chinese descendants.
Beijing Ducks announced the news on Wednesday, saying they are working on Lin's registration.
"Beijing, here I come," Lin wrote on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo after the team's announcement. The post has received more than 110,000 likes and retweets.
Lin, 31, also shared his excitement on his Instagram and Twitter, saying that he always knew his path would go through the CBA.
"I always knew my path would go through the CBA… I knew how much of an honor it would be to play in front of my Chinese fans. I'm here now and there is more history to be made!" Lin wrote on Instagram.
In a telephone interview with the China Central Television, Lin said that Beijing is a perfect option for him in terms of sports and culture. And he is looking forward to visiting different cities in the Chinese mainland.
"Lin has expressed his full recognition as an ethnic Chinese on various occasions. Lin joined the CBA because he embraced his Chinese identity," An Yukang, a Beijing-based scholar on cultural studies, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
Athletes of Chinese descent, including soccer player Li Ke and skier Gu Ailing, recently became naturalized Chinese citizens. An predicted a trend that more and more ethnic Chinese and Chinese descendants will compete in sports on behalf of China.
"The trend reflects the increasing influence and attraction of China, especially in culture and sports," said An.
Lin's parents are from the island of Taiwan, and Lin's return is good news for both sides of the Taiwan Straits, An said.
Fans are keen to see Lin shine in Beijing. "Proud of you my man! I'm going to book Beijing's tickets for next season!" a Weibo user said.
Lin won his first NBA championship with the Toronto Raptors in July. He shocked fans with his phenomenal performance at the New York Knicks in 2012, which gained his nickname "Linsanity."
In 2011, Lin played for CBA side Dongguan Leopards in the Asian Basketball Association Club Championship and was voted MVP.