Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin says his ethnicity is the reason he was not offered any college scholarships to major colleges and why he was passed over by NBA teams during the draft.
Lin tells Charlie Rose — in a "60 Minutes" interview that was excerpted Friday — that not a single Division I school contacted the California Player of the Year after he led his high school in Palo Alto to the California state championship.
"Well, the obvious thing in my mind is that I was Asian-American ... I think that was a barrier," he told Rose.
The young man who brought "Linsanity" to the NBA for a few fascinating weeks last season believes that if he were black or white he would have gotten a scholarship to schools like UCLA or Stanford. He ended up going to Harvard, where no athletic scholarships are granted.
Lin says ethnicity has no bearing on anyone's performance on the court but believes perceptions about race and athletic ability still exist.
"It's just a stereotype," he says.
The 6-foot-4 guard wasn't selected by any of the 32 NBA teams in the entry draft following a successful career at Harvard.
In the NBA, Lin mostly languished on the bench in Houston and New York until injuries last February gave him a chance to get major minutes against the Nets and kick off the Linsanity craze.
Lin left the Knicks and returned to the Rockets after they offered him a three-year deal worth $25.1 million.