The first recipient of the Always Dreaming Scholarship inspired by Frank Kara in 2009 was Jamal Abu-Shamala, senior guard/forward on the Golden Gophers Men’s Basketball team. Jamal came to the university as a walk-on in 2005 from Shakopee, Minn. He was considered too small for Division I standards but all he needed was a chance.
He got his chance when Coach Dan Monson, impressed by Jamal's state high school tournament effort, in which he led his team to the Class 3A title with a 19.8 scoring average, invited the him to try out for a varsity spot. He made the team as a freshman and earned a full scholarship by his second year. Jamal become an outstanding three-point shooter as well a dependable rebounder for the Golden Gophers.
For his career, Jamal averaged 4.6 points, 2.1 rebounds and 16.0 minutes per game as a Gopher. He played in 128 career games, the second-most in team history and ended his career tied for the fourth highest three-point field goal percentage in school history at .402 (106-264). His 106 career three-point field goals are the 10th most in school history.
His success didn’t stop on the court. Jamal was recently named Academic All-Big Ten for the second consecutive year. In February, he was honored by the University of Minnesota as its Male Scholar Athlete of the Year. Jamal is on his way to earning a degree in business marketing.