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Business & Entrepreneurship

In the News

Jamad Fiin ‘21 G ‘22 returned to campus on Wednesday, March 20, to participate in the Emmanuel College Business Collaborative Speaker Series. She shared her remarkable journey from being one of the few Muslim women playing basketball wearing a hijab on the court to emerging as a social media sensation to becoming a philanthropist rubbing elbows with sports figures like Boston Celtics superstar Jaylen Brown.

Growing up as a Muslim with a love for basketball, Jamad faced resistance from a community where such pursuits were not mainstream for girls. Undaunted, she honed her skills alongside her brothers. Her father's unwavering support enabled her to pursue her dream even when societal norms dictated otherwise. “He was always my number one supporter and he encouraged me to play,” she said.

Andy Yosinoff, the longtime coach of the Emmanuel College Women’s Basketball team, was not one of the naysayers. “I met Andy in 11th grade at an AAU tournament, and he told me I had a place on the Emmanuel team,” Jamad recalled. She didn’t take him up on his offer at first, choosing to play at Clark University her freshman year. It wasn’t a great fit, and she transferred to Emmanuel. “It was the best decision I made. Emmanuel is home.” She went on to become the captain of not only Emmanuel’s basketball team but also the Somalia Women’s National team.

Jamad Fiin '21, G'22, Andy Yosinoff, and Lesa Dennis Mohammad '88

Pictured above: Jamad Fiin '21, G'22, Andy Yosinoff, and Lesa Dennis Mohammad '88.

Beyond her achievements on the court, Jamad's impact extends nationwide through Jamad Basketball Camps, her organization of basketball clinics for girls in cities all across the country. What sets these clinics apart is not just the skill development they offer, but their accessibility – they are completely free of charge. Each year, the organization hosts a tournament, where girls from all over the country come together to compete.

“We’ve created a culture of girls with similar interests coming together as a community. Basketball brings people together,” she said.

Her philanthropy knows no borders. She teamed up with her mother to build a well in her mother’s hometown in Somalia, to provide clean water to schoolchildren and the surrounding community.

Jamad boasts 1.2 million followers on Instagram, including rap legend Drake, and 2.1 million on TikTok. Her presence caught the attention of major brands, and she has partnerships with Google Pixel, Bose, Gatorade, Pepsi, and others. Through these collaborations, Jamad leverages her influence to champion causes close to her heart, from promoting diversity to advocating for social change.

She offered advice to budding social media influencers. “If you have a passion, share it, get your message out there.”

Looking ahead, Jamad hopes to open a basketball facility in Minneapolis and eventually on other continents. “I want to create opportunities for girls to excel in basketball and beyond.”

Jamad's journey exemplifies the transformative power of sports in transcending cultural barriers and empowering individuals to defy expectations.