Mr. Reddicks and Jeremy Lin
by Tucker Hamlin on Friday, February 24th, 2012
Over the past 17 days, New York Knicks star Jeremy Lin became the new sensation around the NBA. While some may wonder why Jeremy Lin is such a big story around Milton, the answer lies within one of Milton’s very own faculty members: Lamar Reddicks. Mr. Reddicks, the new athletic director, is one of the most recognizable faces around campus and the recruiter for Jeremy Lin.
Prior to his work at Milton, Mr. Reddicks spent eight years coaching at Harvard and Boston University. While working as an assistant coach at Harvard, Lamar Reddicks and fellow coach Bill Holden traveled out to Las Vegas to watch an AAU Tournament in hopes of finding the next star for Harvard. At the tournament they were able to see Jeremy Lin for the first time. Only a high school junior, Lin made a strong impression with his explosive skills on the ball. He was not the strongest player however. Reddicks and Holden saw potential in Lin and, ultimately, recruited Lin in hopes of him being very successful for Harvard.
Even as a freshman, Jeremy Lin immediately became a contributor to the team and played a lot of minutes. Mr. Reddicks explained how Lin, “showed flashes of brilliances from the beginning of his college career.” Yet, Lin was still very weak; Mr. Reddicks even considered Lin the weakest player on the team.
After watching Lin grow over his freshman season, Mr. Reddicks began a new coaching stint at Boston University. During the season when BU played against Harvard, Reddicks recalled talking with all the former players he used to coach. While most players said a quick hello and shuffle back to warm-up with their own team, Lin stayed and talked to Mr. Reddicks. It was an unusual situation for both teams, but when Mr. Reddicks asked Lin why he was sticking around to talk with him, Lin responded, “Coach, I have 30 games in a season, but I only have one with you.”
Coach Reddicks loves to tell this story of Lin because he feels it really describes the type of person Lin is. As Mr. Reddicks exclaimed, Lin “is a great basketball player, but an even better person.” Mr. Reddicks explained further how “proud he was of Jeremy and his work ethic, I have his jersey in my office not because of his basketball skills, but rather the great person he is.”
Although Mr. Reddicks was only at Harvard during Lin’s freshman year, he remained in touch with the growing star. During Lin’s senior year, Reddicks took Lin out to breakfast, and the first thing Lin said to Mr. Reddicks was, “Coach, I am the strongest kid on my team.” Lin was proud of the fact that his devotion to the weight room, and the entirety of his game, was beginning to pay dividends. “When someone pointed out a weakness in Jeremy’s game,” Mr. Reddicks explained, “Jeremy went out on court and made it a strength, it’s just the type of kid he is.”
Mr. Reddicks is certainly proud of the genuine person Jeremy Lin is, and although he realizes the recent success will not continue so easily, Mr. Reddicks is confident that Jeremy “will make adjustments and figure out how to be successful in the NBA.”
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