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New York Knicks Guard Jeremy Lin and Five Other Superstar Athletes Who Went to Harvard

Harvard athletes
Chris Trotman/Al Messerschmidt/Al Bello, Getty Images

New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin is lighting up the league with his stellar play, propelling the Knicks back from the brink of yet another disappointing season.

But you can’t talk about Lin without mentioning his alma mater, Harvard University, from which he graduated in 2010 with a 3.1 GPA. Here’s a look at how some other Harvard alumni have fared in their respective professional sports:

RYAN FITZPATRICK

Ryan Fitzpatrick
Al Bello, Getty Images

The Bills quarterback was a fill-in starter for the early parts of his career before finding a home in Buffalo. But that’s a story he was used to from his days at Harvard when he earned the starting spot in his junior year. In 2004, his senior year, Fitzpatrick won Ivy League MVP honors after leading Harvard to a 10-0 record. After showing the same prowess on the field for the Bills early last season, Fitzpatrick was rewarded with a six-year, $59 million contract extension.

TED DONATO

Ted Donato
Elsa, Getty Images

Here’s one star who decided to give back to his college. When Donato’s playing days ended in 2004, he signed on as the Harvard hockey coach, a position he continues to hold today. As for his playing days with the Crimson, Donato registered 56 points in the 1990-91 campaign. He never tallied that many points in a single season during his NHL career. He’s had an uneven stint as a coach. “We had a great deal of success in the first two years,’’ he told ‘The Boston Globe.’ “Maybe I fooled myself into thinking, ‘This is going to be easy.’”

MATT BIRK

Matt Birk
Al Messerschmidt, Getty Images

A 1998 grad, Birk was an All-Ivy League, All-New England, and Division I-AA All-ECAC first team athlete. He continued his success in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings, earning six Pro Bowl selection. He’s still talking about where he went to school. “Every group of kids that I ever talk to, I tell them my degree is what I’m most proud of and it’s what’s going to serve me for a longer period of time. I wouldn’t be playing pro football if I didn’t have good grades, because there weren’t any other schools trying to recruit me. My football career would have been over,” he told the ‘Baltimore Sun.’

BOBBY JONES

Bobby Jones
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

With an English Literature degree from Harvard and the Georgie bar exam under his belt, Bobby Jones was one impressive young man. Which is why when the golfer retired in 1930 at the age of 28, it came as no surprise that he remained an ambassador to the game and made a living doing it. Jones is perhaps best known for winning the “Grand Slam” at the time, all four major championships in a single calendar year. The World Golf Hall of Fame inducted him in 1974, three years after his death.

CHRIS NOWINSKI

Chris Nowinski
Bill Pugliano, Getty Images

Think this wrestler is proud of his college? In the early part of his pro career, Nowinski competed as “Chris Harvard.” Now that he has left the ring, Nowinski is working to advocate on behalf of athletes who suffer from debilitating brain injuries resulting from concussions and other head injuries sustained during their careers. “You only get one brain your entire life,” he told the school paper. “There’s no medal at the end for abusing it the most.”

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