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EGGERS: 'Linsanity' playing at more than Moda Center

Documentary on '67 OSU 'Giant Killers' also in the works


Knocking it around the lot as we start a new sports week, focusing on film. …

• "Linsanity," a 90-minute documentary about Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin, begins a one-week run Friday at Cinema 21 in Northwest Portland.

Lin, who will be performing at the Moda Center Tuesday night when the Rockets take on the Trail Blazers, created a sensation with his play as a New York Knick during the 2011-12 season -- in NBA circles and especially with the Asian community.KERRY EGGERS

Producer Brian Yang and director Evan Leong began shooting Lin "before Lin-Sanity was a word," Yang told me Monday from his home in New York.

Yang and Leong started the project during his senior year at Harvard, but the official production began during his rookie season with Golden State and ended with his trade to Houston as a postlogue.

"For us as a film-making unit, we identified it early as a good story," Yang says. "You don't see a lot of Asian-American kids even having a shot to make the NBA. Evan wanted to create a legacy piece that dealt with his humble basketball beginnings to end with 'Lin-Sanity' in New York.

"We have footage of him making trip to Taiwan after his rookie season. I would say he is a cult hero in many circles."

Yang and Leong originally thought their low-budget operation would serve as a small Web series. It gained national distribution, however, opening Oct. 4 in seven markets and internationally in Asia.

"Portland was interested because we've been doing pretty well in other cities," Yang says.

• Another sports documentary is in the works on one of Oregon State's most famous teams -- the 1967 "Giant Killers."

Alex Crawford, who graduated from OSU last spring, is producer, and close friend Riley Hayes the director of the project. It chronicles the Dee Andros team that beat No. 1 Southern Cal and No. 2 Purdue and tied No. 2 UCLA behind the likes of Bill Enyart, Steve Preece, Billy Main, Jess Lewis and Jon Sandstrom.

Crawford, a board operator at KFXX (1080 AM "The Fan"), and Hayes, a freelance videographer, are trying to raise $42,000 to finance a film "we'd like to make as good as those in ESPN's 30-for-30 series."

Crawford got interested while looking for "cool projects" during a radio internship. His father, Kent, a 1979 OSU graduate whose first Beaver game was the 3-0 win over O.J. Simpson's Trojans in 1967, suggested that "the Giant Killers' story needs to be told."

Crawford and Hayes have put together a 12-minute preview video that can be seen on their website, legendofthegiantkillers.com.

"We're hoping people will donate so we can get this thing completed," Crawford says.

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Twitter: @kerryeggers