Success stories of Palestinian achievers from all over the world

Jamal Abu-Shamala

Jamal Abu-Shamala

Sector : Sports, Athletes

Personal Info

  • Country of residence: United States
  • Gender: Male
  • Born in: 1987
  • Age: 34
  • Curriculum vitae :


Jamal Abu-Shamala born July 25, 1987 is a Palestinian-American professional basketball player. He played college basketball for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Abu-Shamala played in the NBA Development League for the Sioux Falls Skyforce during the 2010–11 season.

Abu-Shamala first represented the Jordanian national team and began to play internationally in 2008. He joined the Palestine national team in 2011 and has since represented them internationally.

Abu-Shamala went to Shakopee High School in Shakopee, Minnesota.[citation needed] Abu-Shamala finished his Shakopee career with 1,254 points.

Abu-Shamala came to the University of Minnesota as a walk-on but earned a scholarship after playing in 30 games and starting 10 games during his freshman season in 2005–06. His best season statistically was his sophomore season in 2006–07 when he played in 31 games, started 21 games, averaged 6.5 points per game, and made 44-of-102 three-point attempts. He finished his career with 128 games played, 62 starts, 592 points, 270 rebounds, a field goal percentage of 43.2% (203-469) and three-point field goal percentage of 40.1% (106–264). His career three-point field percentage ranked him seventh all-time at Minnesota. In 2009, Abu-Shamala was named the University of Minnesota's male recipient of the Outstanding Student-Athlete Award for his accomplishments in athletics, academics, leadership and volunteerism.

Abu-Shamala was noticed by the Jordan men's national basketball team while playing in a game broadcast on ESPN. He said he was eligible to play for the team because of his Palestinian father and "65-75 percent of Jordan is Palestinian". Abu-Shamala was not aware of the Palestine men's national basketball team when he committed and only realised the team existed when he played against them in a tournament. Although he felt like he should be playing for Palestine, his commitments to Jordan prevented him from joining the team immediately. Abu-Shamala played for Jordan as they retained their title at the William Jones Cup.


Abu-Shamala was unable to obtain a Jordanian passport after his second year with the team and played his first game with the Palestine team at the 2011 Pan Arab Games.

Abu-Shamala was born to a Palestinian father and an American mother. His father moved to the United States from Gaza at the age of 21.




Achievements and Awards

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