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In Focus: Linsanity

Lin poses during a 2012 SI photo shoot. (Robert Seale/SI) Lin poses during a 2012 SI photo shoot. (Robert Seale/SI)

By Andy Gray

One year ago, Jeremy Lin was another NBA hopeful with an uncertain future waiting out the league's lockout. After Golden State waived him, Lin spent the preseason with the Rockets but was cut before the start of the seasont. The Knicks quickly scooped him up and after a rash of injuries, he was finally given a chance to play in early February and quickly turned into one of the NBA's most popular players.  He was blossoming into a top point guard before a March knee injury sidelined him for the season. Houston signed him to a three-year, $25.1 million contract in July, a deal that the Knicks declined to match. The 24-year-old Lin returns to Madison Square Garden on Monday as the Rockets (10-11) try to upset the Knicks (18-5), who are 10-0 at home. In honor of Lin's return, here's a look back at his unlikely rise to stardom.

[GALLERY: Rare Photos of Jeremy Lin | The Jeremy Lin Fan Club]

A young Lin (center) poses with his family. (Reuters) A young Lin (center) poses with his family. (Reuters)

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Lin and Harvard coach Tommy Amaker pose in 2006. (Peter Gregorie/SI) Lin and Harvard coach Tommy Amaker pose in 2006. (Peter Gregorie/SI)

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Lin, the first Taiwanese-American player in the NBA, plays in front of his hometown fans in northern California. (Rocky Widner/Getty Images) Lin, the first Taiwanese-American player in the NBA, plays in front of his hometown fans in Northern California. (Rocky Widner/Getty Images)

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Lin takes a rest during a 2012 Knicks-Nets game. (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images) Lin takes a rest during a 2012 Knicks-Nets game. (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images)

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Lin fans root on their favorite player. (David Sherman/Getty Images) Lin fans root on their favorite player. (David Sherman/Getty Images)

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More Lin fans in New York City. (Reuters) More Lin fans in New York. (Reuters)

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Lin and James Harden watch the action from the Rockets bench. (Bill Baptist/Getty Images) Lin and James Harden watch the action from the Rockets' bench. (Bill Baptist/Getty Images)

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For more historic sports photos, NBA and otherwise, visit the SI Photo Blog and follow Andy Gray on Twitter.
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