If you haven’t heard of New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin by now, welcome back from Pluto. Like Tim Tebow but with clear talent, Linsanity is the best story in the NBA right now. Undrafted and released by two other teams before landing on his brother’s couch in New York, the Asian(-American) sensation was thrown into the lineup early this month. All he did was make the Knickerbockers relevant again. They have gone 8-1 behind Lin’s dynamic offensive game and crept back in the playoff picture after an atrocious start. But he’s hardly first star to come out of nowhere. We’re serving up Shao-Lin’s story along with those of nine other recent and current pros who defied odds to reach the highest heights. Looking for inspiration? Grab a big ol’ plate of it here.