Sports journalists everywhere are searching furiously for local connections to the juggernaut that is Jeremy Lin. If he sneezed near their towns, it's news.
Well, it turns out that Lin did more than that in Pleasanton — he worked with local trainer E.J. Costello at the 24 Hour Fitness here in town during the off-season, according to a CBSSports.com story.
In fact, some are saying those workouts are what set up him up for his flash-fast rise to sports stardom.
For the three people on Earth who don't know, Jeremy Lin is a 23-year-old Harvard graduate and NBA player who was dropped by two teams (including the Golden State Warriors) and then signed on with the NY Knicks, where a couple guys were hurt and then he got to start. He was just a regular player, but overnight (almost literally), he's become an incredible scorer and passer. Who knew?
He went to Palo Alto High School and then Harvard, which is not exactly known for producing basketball prodigies. He has a reputation for working out all the time, and improved from last year — went from sitting on the Warriors bench to averaging 26.8 points per game just in the last couple weeks. Some call it superhuman.
He's also Asian-American, so big marketing is going interstellar right now. He's modest and religious, and because his NBA career was so uncertain up until this past two weeks, he'd been apartmentless in New York, forced to sleep on his brother's couch — which makes people love him even more.
Turn on ESPN; they can't go 15 minutes without mentioning him.
If this madness is still confusing and you'd like to get caught up, read this Gawker story — it explains the whole thing, CliffsNotes-style.
Anyway, back to Pleasanton.
In the CBSSports.com story, writer Ken Berger interviewed Costello, the trainer. Here's what Berger wrote:
"If Lin hadn't stayed ready during the lockout, working for hours each day from May through September with trainer E.J. Costello at a 24 Hour Fitness in Pleasanton, Calif., about 30 minutes from Palo Alto, he might not have been ready.
"Lin was doing rehab for knee tendinitis and developing upper body strength and core balance while hoisting hundreds of jump shots a day as some NBA players were sitting around thinking the lockout might never end."
Then Costello is quoted:
"We couldn't control that he wasn't getting a fair look or opportunity," said Costello, who also trained Warriors players David Lee and Ekpe Udoh during the lockout. "But we could control that when he does or if he does, he would be ready for it."
Gym industry blogs went nuts, and industry insiders tweeted about how one of their own got Lin in shape.
"Perhaps 24 Hour can find a way to get in on the marketing fun, too, especially since its San Ramon, CA, headquarters are close to Lin’s hometown," wrote Stuart Goldman in a ClubIndustry.com blog post.
Even a diet column mentioned the Costello-Lin partnership.
What's really baking our noodles now is this: How many of us were there, inside that gym, while Lin was training? How many saw him and didn't know it?
Even better (and more fun to hear about) — how many of us saw him and did know it?
Please tell us about it in the comments.
To reach editor Tanya Rose, e-mail email@example.com. Walnut Creek Editor Lance Howland contributed to this story.
Follow us on Twitter @PleasantonPatch, or on Facebook at Facebook.com/PleasantonPatch.
Sign up for the Patch newsletter by going to pleasanton.patch.com/newsletters.