New York, if you can make it there you can make it anywhere. The cliché is admittedly cringe-inducing, but that sentiment is what makes the meteoric rise of Jeremy Lin so instantly compelling.

There are many Harvard graduates who come to New York City with a degree in Economics and make a name for themselves; they usually do it on Wall Street however, not in midtown -- much less on the hardcourt at Madison Square Garden.

In the first three starts of his professional career Lin has gone off. He is averaging 25.3 points and 8.3 assists from the point guard spot. Against the Wizards on Wednesday night he chipped in his first ever double-double with 23 points and 10 assists.

He has stabilized and solidified a lineup that is missing both of its biggest stars in Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. Lin is beginning to look like he could be the third piece that the Knicks have been looking to complement their stars.

It's a great story, perhaps the biggest surprise so far this year, but that is only half of his story and the rest of it would probably be scrapped by any Hollywood writer as being far too unbelievable.

At 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds Lin does look the part of an NBA point guard, sort of, he is big and athletic, but beyond that he doesn't share similarities to anyone else who has ever played the game.

First and foremost, Lin is Asian. With the exception of baseball, there are relatively few athletes of Asian descent anywhere in American Professional sports.

In the history of the NBA there have been few players of Asian descent, but more than most people realize. Yi Jianlian, Sun Yue, and of course Yao Ming are or were prominent Asians in the league, though the first two are better known for their high draft position than their talent.

But all three were born in China and grew up in China, meaning that they don't have much in common with Asian Americans from a cultural standpoint.

That's where Lin is different and what makes him one of the most unique players ever, at least in his background.

Lin is the first Asian American to play in the NBA since Wataru Misaka suited up for three games for the Knicks in 1947.

His is also one of only three players from Harvard to ever suit up for an NBA team; Ed Smith saw time in 11 games for the 1954 Knicks and Saul Mariaschin played 43 games in the 1947-48 season for the Boston Celtics.

For all of the buzz about Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, himself a Harvard grad, being a rarity, he is not nearly as unique. Fitzpatrick was the 25th member of the Crimson to play in an NFL game (there has since been a 26th Clifton Dawson).

But that's not all, Lin ended up at Harvard because he could not get a look anywhere else. Despite leading his high school team to the California Division II state title in 2006 and being named the Division II Player of the Year, he was not offered a single scholarship.

He sent a highlight DVD to Cal, Stanford and UCLA as well as every single Ivy League school. The Pac-10 programs were interested in him as a walk-on, and of the Ivies, only Harvard and Brown were willing to give him a spot on the team (Ivy League schools do not offer scholarships).

He owned the Ivy League and was a unanimous All League selection as a junior and a senior. In his senior year he was even a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award. But the NBA didn't exactly bang down his door.

Though he was invited to eight pre-draft workouts he was not selected and existed in limbo before he got a partially guaranteed contract from the Golden State Warriors, his hometown team.

He played in 29 uneventful games for the Warriors before being sent to New York this past offseason, and the rest is history.