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Jeremy Lin's unemployed mom took money from her 401k to help her son realize his NBA dream

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Stories of professional athletes repaying family members for years of care and hard work upon making it big are commonplace. What's far more notable than players buying their parents a house or grandmother a car, thankfully, are when we learn that he or she claims to have reached the pinnacle of the sporting world all by their lonesome.

Jeremy Lin's road to stardom, though, differs drastically from those of his NBA peers. The Brooklyn Nets' point guard wasn't highly recruited as a teenager, went undrafted out of Harvard, and was twice waived before making an indelible mark in the league with the New York Knicks in 2012. One person who probably wasn't surprised by his rapid ascent to global fame? Lin's mother, Shirley.

During an appearance at The New Yorker Festival on Sunday, Lin revealed the lengths to which his mother went to help ensure his NBA dreams would come true.

Talk about sacrifice.

Lin, remember, had little reason other than self-confidence to believe he'd become a viable NBA player after graduating from Harvard. It's fair to say many parents would have encouraged their Ivy League-educated offspring to pursue a more realistic career path than one of a professional basketball player, but not Lin's mother. She supported her son in a manner that goes beyond kinship at a time when few others did. What a prudent decision that proved to be, too.

Photo: AP

Lin hasn't only established himself as a cultural icon in the NBA, but also just inked a contract with Brooklyn that will pay him nearly $40 million over the next three years. If Shirley hasn't already had her debt repaid, basically, it's probably only a matter of time until she will – many times over, too. Something tells us, though, that such an obviously proud, loving mother already feels her financial risk during a time of need was well worth it.

12 PHOTOS
Jeremy Lin through his career
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Jeremy Lin through his career
INDIANAPOLIS - FEBRUARY 26: Jeremy Lin #7 of the Charlotte Hornets looks on during the game against the Indiana Pacers on February 26, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 31: Jeremy Lin #7 of the Golden State Warriors drives upcourt against Derek Fisher #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on October 31, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 04: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks looks on against the New Jersey Nets on February 4, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Knicks defeated the Nets 99-92. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 8: Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks shoots against JaVale McGee #34 of the Washington Wizards during the game at the Verizon Center on February 8, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 15: Jeremy Lin #7 of the Houston Rockets in the huddle prior to a game against the Dallas Mavericks on October 15, 2012 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Danny Bollinger/NBAE via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 31: Jeremy Lin #9 of the Houston Rockets takes a shot over Al Horford #15 of the Atlanta Hawks at the Toyota Center on December 31, 2012 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 16: Kiyan Anthony, the son of Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks grabs ahold of Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets during the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest part of 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend at the Toyota Center on February 16, 2013 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 14: Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets poses for portraits during the NBAE Circuit as part of 2013 All-Star Weekend at the Hilton Americas Hotel on February 14, 2012 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 23: Chandler Parsons #25 and Jeremy Lin #7 of the Houston Rockets rebound against the Dallas Mavericks on December 23, 2013 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jeremy Lin (17) of the Los Angeles Lakers drives against Mike Conley (11) of the Memphis Grizzlies, November 26, 2014 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 8: Jeremy Lin #7 of the Charlotte Hornets looks on during the game against the Chicago Bulls on Februay 8, 2016 at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rocky W. Widner/Getty Images)
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