Jeremy Lin’s emergence leads people to care about Ivy League athletes turned pro

Harvard is getting a lot of attention for its athletic program these days.

The basketball team is ranked No. 21 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll (its eighth consecutive week being ranked in this poll) and No. 25 in the AP Top 25.

Now, with the emergence of Harvard grad Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks (Lin-sanity, they're calling it), people are suddenly realizing all of the great athletes who have gone to Harvard and other Ivy League schools.

Sports Illustrated posted a photo gallery of "Sports Figures Who Attended Harvard," which, in addition to Lin, includes Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk, Academy Award-winning actor Tommy Lee Jones (did you know he played football at Harvard?), and a variety of other athletes and Harvard grads involved in the sports world.

Huffington Post College spread the love around the Ancient Eight, posting its own photo gallery of "Jeremy Lin and 6 Other Ivy League Athletes Who Made It In the Pros." Their photos include Lou Gehrig, who attended Columbia before signing with the Yankees; Princeton's Bill Bradley; Yale running back Calvin Hill (fun fact: he was fraternity brothers with George W. Bush); Fitzpatrick; hockey goalie Ken Dryden, who left his homeland of Canada to attend Cornell; and Columbia grad George Starke, who played for the Washington Redskins.

Penn did get one shoutout in The New York Times, which mentioned new Big 5 Hall of Fame inductee Matt Maloney, who suited up for the Atlanta Hawks in the 2002-03 season. The rest of the article was about Lin and the rest of the Crimson.

Which Ivy League athletes who have gone on to the pros deserve more recognition?

15 thoughts on “Jeremy Lin’s emergence leads people to care about Ivy League athletes turned pro

  1. Doug Glanville is awesome!

    Also, with Greg Mangano declared for the NBA draft last year, I'm assuming all the teams really wanted him (to stay home)

  2. Pingback: Jeremy Lin: From novelty to Knicks star

  3. James Blake (Harvard) made it into the top 5 in the world tennis rankings a while back. He had some classic battles at the US Open, against guys like Federer & Agassi. I think he should be at the top of the list honestly. None of those guys mentioned above made it to that elite status in their respective sports.

  4. Another vote for James Blake!! Turned pro and got to as high as #4 ATP Tour. I'd put second Lou Gehrig and third Ken Dryden. Blake's accomplishment is more unusual since today it's much harder for an Ivy League athlete to succeed (70 years ago other college teams weren't as good or as serious in sports).

  5. Make room for Zack Rosen, next Ivy guy to make the NBA. The Ivy League hasn't seen a point guard like Rosen....ever.

    If he's not drafted, he'll go to Portsmouth, impress there (unlike IbbyJaaber who, unfortunately, always found a way to squander his NBA opportunities), and, like Lin, Rosen will subsequently impress in NBA summer camps and, like Lin, he will be SIGNED by an NBA team.

    Zack is THAT good. Just watch.

    Lin? When Knicks picked him up, wisely, and D'Antoni had him nailed to bench these past three weeks prior to unleashing him last week purely from sheer desperation (not coaching astuteness), I wanted D'Antoni's coaching head.

    Lin has shown us what he knew, and we who have seen him play, knew he could do. He just patiently waited for his chance and the man has just blown it up. No big surprise. Lin is the real deal.

  6. How about our own Ernie Beck. Philadelphia Warriors, St. Louis Hawks and Syracuse Nationals. In NBA from 1953 to 1964

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