the few asian americans in men's college basketball

The San Francisco Chronicle has a really interesting story Asian American players—and the significant lack thereof—in college basketball. According to the most NCAA Student-Athlete Race and Ethnicity Report, of 4,814 Division I men's basketball players in 2006-07, there were only 19 Asian Pacific Americans. That's 0.4 percent: Asian Americans remain rare in men's college basketball.

The article profiles some of the few who are representing, including Jeremy Lin, starting point guard and leading scorer for Harvard. Hailing from the Bay Area, he helped Palo Alto High win the Division II state title in 2006, and was named first-team All-State and Northern California Division II Player of the Year.

However, despite several of such honors and some impressive stats, he didn't get a single Division I offer, and he thinks being Asian was definitely a factor in not being more heavily recruited out of high school. On top of that, the guy has to take a lot of crap as one of the few Asians in the game:
"I hear everything: 'Go back to China. Orchestra is on the other side of campus. Open up your eyes,' " Lin said. "They're yelling at me before, during and after. I'm an easy target because I'm Asian. Sometimes it makes me uncomfortable, but it's part of the game."
The article also mentions Kelvin Kim, starting point guard for UC San Diego, who faces similar encounters, as well as coaches like Seattle Pacific's Jeff Hironaka, the only current Asian American Division II head coach, and USF's Rex Walters, the only Asian American Division I men's basketball head coach. They've all defied expectations, but still constantly face uphill battles as the few Asian American faces in the sport.

Meanwhile, it should be noted that from 1999 to 2007, the number of Asian American Division I women's basketball players has gone up in six years. In 2005-06, there were 76, the most ever recorded. At least we can measure progress somewhere.

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