HOUSTON, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Jeremy Lin, a professional basketball player for the Houston Rockets of the U.S. National Basketball Association (NBA), launched on Thursday night a foundation to love and serve children and youth, by providing hope, empowerment and leadership development.
Speaking at a ceremony in the fourth largest U.S. city of Houston, Lin said that he was honored and excited to celebrate the launch of The Jeremy Lin Foundation with the participants, including former Houston Rockets center Yao Ming and his parents.
For the foundation's inaugural campaign -- The Making A Difference Project, Lin confirmed that as a non-profit organization, his foundation has selected three local organizations to receive support in the form of grant donations and attention for their often unsung efforts.
"Our hope is that through this project, we can give these organizations the opportunity to keep doing what they love and meaningfully impact our community," Lin said.
Through the project, three Houston community organizations that are making an impact with youth will receive a financial grant from the Foundation.
Through a social media campaign, the public will have the opportunity to donate to the project and vote for an organization of their choice.
The organization that receives the most votes will receive the additional benefit of visits and appearance by Lin this year.
Lin's incredible story is a testament to the power of an opportunity. After going undrafted and being cut by multiple teams, his triumph is proof that the last man off the bench might be a star waiting to shine.
Whether this is on a basketball court or in communities across the country, Lin believes that other people and organizations are likewise ready and able to "make a difference" if given the chance.
The foundation was launched on the sidelines of a three-day NBA All-Star Weekend, which is to start on Friday.
Born on Aug. 23, 1988, Lin is one of the few Asian Americans in NBA history, and the first American of Chinese descent to play in the league.
After graduation from Harvard University, Lin reached a partially guaranteed contract deal in 2010 with his hometown Golden State Warriors. He was waived by the Warriors and the Rockets the following preseason before joining the New York Knicks early in the 2011-12 season. He continued to play sparingly and again spent time in the NBA Development League.
In Feb. 2012, he unexpectedly led a winning streak by New York while being promoted to the starting lineup, which generated a global following known as Linsanity. In the summer of 2012, Lin signed a three-year contract with the Rockets.