New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin, the league’s first Asian-​​American player of Chi­nese or Tai­wanese descent, has become the star of the sports world, aver­aging more than 22 points, eight assists and two steals per game in the first 12 starts of his young career. We asked three North­eastern experts to eval­uate his success.

Jarrod Chin, director of Sport in Society’s Vio­lence Pre­ven­tion and Diver­sity program:

Two weeks ago, boxer Floyd May­weather Jr. caused a stir by tweeting, “Jeremy Lin is a good player, but all the hype is because he’s Asian…” How much of the atten­tion sur­rounding Lin stems from the fact that the first Asian-​​American NBA player of Chi­nese or Tai­wanese descent has expe­ri­enced a his­toric start to his career?

The atten­tion sur­rounding Jeremy Lin is based in part on the fact that his ath­letic ability chal­lenges our stereo­types about what cer­tain groups of people can do in our society. Too often “the model minority” stereo­type limits what Asian-​​Americans are seen as capable of doing. Not since Wat Misaka played for the New York Knicks in 1947 has an Asian-​​American played in an NBA game. Why, in more than 60 years, have no other Asian-​​Americans played in the league? Was it just a lack of talent or were there other fac­tors, such as racial stereo­types, that have kept them from com­peting at the sport’s highest level?

Growing up in America, I had very few Asian-​​American ath­letes or role models that I could look up to and aspire to be like. But by chal­lenging stereo­types, Lin has become a role model for young people on how you can over­come obsta­cles through hard work and per­se­ver­ance, demon­strating that ath­letic and aca­d­emic achieve­ment are not mutu­ally exclu­sive. My hope is that through his suc­cess, Lin will be able to open up oppor­tu­ni­ties for the disenfranchised.

Paul Fombelle, assis­tant pro­fessor of mar­keting in the Col­lege of Busi­ness Administration:

A pair of side­line, center-​​court seats at Madison Square Garden cost $9,999, up more than 100 per­cent since Lin caught fire. What kind of short– and long-​​term impact would the 23-​​year-​​old phenom’s con­tinued suc­cess have on both the club’s and the league’s bottom line?

I think the long-​​term impact of Jeremy Lin is still too far away to pre­dict given that he has only played in a handful of games. But there is no denying his instant impact on the Knicks and its parent com­pany Madison Square Garden Co. (MSG). Demand for Knicks tickets has shot through the roof, ticket resale prices are some of the highest ever and stores cannot keep Lin jer­seys in stock. The team’s rat­ings on the MSG Net­work and traffic on its web­site have also ballooned. Lin’s TV rat­ings have matched that of when megastar Carmelo Anthony arrived at MSG.

It’s crazy to think that one player actu­ally pro­pelled MSG to an all-​​time-​​high share price on the Nasdaq. Up until Lin hit the scene, MSG was actu­ally reporting a loss for the lockout-​​shortened season. Now profits are dras­ti­cally on the rise for everyone involved. There even seems to be a battle over the legal rights to the term “Linsanity.”

Rebecca Shansky, assis­tant pro­fessor of psy­chology in the Col­lege of Sci­ence:

Lin’s unex­pected rise to national – and global – promi­nence has appeared to fuel even stronger play in the young star. But how will the added pres­sure to per­form at a con­sis­tently high level affect his mental acuity?

There’s a lot of evi­dence that expo­sure to stress can cause deficits in what cog­ni­tive neu­ro­sci­en­tists call “exec­u­tive func­tion” – processes like decision-​​making, plan­ning and con­cen­tra­tion. It’s entirely pos­sible that the pres­sure Lin feels from his new­found fame could have some neg­a­tive effects.

Studies, how­ever, have also found that the degree to which stress affects a person’s cog­ni­tive func­tion depends on how much con­trol the person feels they have over the stress. So in Lin’s case, if he feels that he can respond to the pres­sure to play really well by con­tin­uing to rack up points, then stress itself should have neg­li­gible effects.