Jeremy Lin, the surprising, second-year starting point guard of the New York Knicks, has taken the nation by storm. (It was hard enough to write that sentence without using one Lin pun.) No matter what your take is on Lin, the fact that is abundantly clear is that the dude can ball. Why it took this long for all of us to find out is anyone’s guess.
Nonetheless, there have been other instances in sports history when athletes have risen from minor or total obscurity to become champions, phenoms, or simply put, feel good stories for everyone to embrace. Here are 10 examples of guys who fought their way from the bottom to the top.