In our first installment of “NBC Sports Boston social media takeovers,” (say that three times fast), I spoke with @_Jamaad, a junior guard for the Emmanuel College women's basketball team. The Boston native continues to amaze the Instagram world by showing off her ball-handling while crossing up all the dudes who dare to challenge her, all while casually rocking her hijab. We even got her sending Enes Kanter to the ground once:
@KwaniALunis: Recount the day your first basketball video went viral:
@_Jamaad: This was when I was obsessed with Twitter and usually people wish you “Happy Birthday” and they just tag you in stuff but I wasn’t really getting that much love [that day]. I told my cousin, who was really poppin’, “post this for my birthday and wish me happy birthday.” Once he did it, mad people retweeted it. I was just confused because it was just a little video, left-handed video. It [started] in our little Somali Twitter community but then when it got to #BlackTwitter [and beyond] that’s when it went crazy.
K: How did you eventually get that same viral reaction on Instagram?
J: Once I started seeing it blow up on Twitter, I posted it to my Instagram. Kid Ink reposted it and added his song to the background. I barely remember that video, it’s like three years ago almost.
K: When you’re not busy being IG famous (I hate that term btw) what are you doing?
J: I go to school [at Emmanuel College] and people don’t know, but I play college basketball and then I’m always studying or at practice.
K: The glorious life of an NCAA athlete…amirite?…Where did you develop your ball-handling skills?
J: I used to wake up, this was 9th, 10th and 11th grade, actually, this was all of high school. I used to wake up early in the morning, 5 a.m., my dad would drive me to the YMCA and then I would literally practice for an hour, take a shower and get ready and then go to school. Every single morning. I only liked playing in gyms that were empty so nobody would watch me
K: Why was that?
J: I just felt shy, weird playing around people watching me. I wouldn’t try as hard.
K: As a female baller, do you feel empowered by the fact that you’ve set an example for other young girls to play basketball unapologetically?
J: Yes I am. Some of the girls that are Muslim growing up, they don’t think they can play on the college level because most of them stop playing after high school. I feel like if they see me playing on the college level they’ll understand, “yeah, I can do it too”
K: Favorite basketball player and why?
J: Jaylen Brown. I just like how he’s a very smart person, not just with basketball…He’s not just a ballplayer, he’s a vice-president for the NBA Players Association and a big leader in our [Boston] community now.
K: Your favorite account to follow on IG: (other than NBCSBoston, of course)?
J: Overtime, they kind of gave me my clout [laughs]. Especially their women’s page, they really advocate for women’s basketball as well.
K: Favorite artists or song to listen to before a game:
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