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Harvard coach 'thrilled' by Lin's opportunity

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Tommy Amaker made no attempt to hide his excitement.

Asked about the possibility that former Harvard star Jeremy Lin might get a start for the New York Knicks, the Harvard coach was effusive in his praise of Lin and seemed genuine in his excitement for his former pupil.

“I was absolutely thrilled when we heard the news,” Amaker said before the No. 21 Crimson practiced Monday afternoon, referring to Lin’s 25-point, 7-assist game off the bench on Saturday. “I was really happy for him.”

Amaker called Lin a “sensational” young man and praised his work ethic.

“I think he’s showing everyone again that he belongs and he’s capable,” the coach said.

Amaker said he hopes the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder’s performance against the Nets was a breakthrough moment and that it helps him solidify a place in the NBA.

And if Lin does stick with the Knicks, Amaker won’t be surprised.

“He’s very deserving of everything that comes his way,” he said.

Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.