‘Passion and Joy’ Led Camah to SHS Athletic Hall of Fame
New Liberty Innovation School Principal to be inducted Tuesday
SALEM (Nov. 20, 2023) – During his days at Salem High School (1993-96), Jamaal Camah so loved the sport of basketball, he wanted others to see it.
The 11-member committee members of the Salem High School Athletic Hall of Fame certainly did, and voted him into the Class of 2023 to be inducted Tuesday night (6 p.m.) at Salem State University’s Veterans Hall.
The event is sold out.
Mr. Camah, in his second year as the Principal at the New Liberty Innovation School, is among 11 former athletes, coaches, administrators and dignitaries to be honored Tuesday.
“It is really an honor to be nominated and part of the Hall with these Salem greats,” he said. “Just to be nominated and inducted for playing a game I grew up loving…I never thought this would happen. Coming to Salem (from Brooklyn) changed my pathway. It opened up so many opportunities.”
Mr. Camah continues to put forward those opportunities for others. He remains an active coach and clinician with North Star Basketball Training alongside former SHS and Salem State standout Tony Mataragas. He also co-founded Boston Promise, a basketball and academics-focused organization that tutors and academic assistance while playing on the AAU circuit from 2008-14.
“I’m still connected to some of the kids we had at that time” he noted.
Following his playing days, Mr. Camah was a teacher and assistant boys basketball coach at Charlestown High School from 2005-14, during which he earned his master’s degree in education from Cambridge College. He then moved on as an assistant girls coach at Tech Boston Academy from 2017-22.
As a player, he helped lead SHS to its greatest-ever season as a junior when the Witches finished 25-0 and captured the MIAA Division 2 state championship under coach Paul Garrity. Along the way, he earned a plethora of awards including All-Northeast Conference honors and all-scholastic status from the Boston Herald and Boston Globe.
“I looked at myself as a performance artist. When I really started to develop my skills, I really wanted to show them off,” Mr. Camah said. “Growing up, I was never the best player in my neighborhood. This was how I expressed myself. I wanted people to see the passion and the joy I had for the game.”
In the high school offseason, Mr. Camah played for the renowned Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC) for coach Leo Papile, then the No. 1-ranked AAU basketball club nationwide. The BABC won consecutive Boston Shootout titles during his years.
Following a successful postgraduate year at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg (which included New England Prep School Athletic Conference honors), he played three years at Providence College before finishing his senior year at the University of New Haven. In his sole season with the Chargers, he was named a Northeast-10 Conference First Team standout while earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Camah and his wife, Michelle, live in Danvers, Mass., with their five children: Chanelle (23), Harper (11), Hayden (9) and twins Nathan and Ryan (17).
About Salem Public Schools
Salem Public Schools is an urban public school district in Salem, Massachusetts. Salem is a small, diverse city with a proud maritime and immigrant history. Our leaders and our teachers are all passionate about education and understand the urgency of improving student achievement with equity and social-emotional needs as the lens we view all of our work through. We respect and value the racial, cultural, and linguistic diversity of our students and their families, and have a strong commitment to the Salem community. Salem Public Schools staff serve all of our students, regardless of ability or language. Salem Public Schools enrolls approximately 4,000 students across its eleven schools.