The NBA hopeful from Citrus County

By Colleen Jenkins
Published March 11, 2007

"The Dreamer," June 12, 2005; links.tampabay.com

THE STORY: Jamaal Galloway dreamed of playing ball in the National Basketball Association. As a senior at Citrus High in Inverness, he sank three-pointers and mastered the dunk. He set his sights on a Division I college program. His mother, Dee, said she was an "NBA mom-in-training." One problem: The average height in the NBA was 6-7. Jamaal was 5-10. He got a passing ACT score just in time for a scholarship from Armstrong Atlantic State University, a Division II school in Savannah, Ga.

FROM THE STORY: Dee Galloway has seen strangers at basketball tournaments around the Southeast look warily at Jamaal. When he first steps on the court, all they see is a short kid from an unfamiliar town.

"Where is Citrus County?" they ask.

One day, Dee says, people won't have to ask Jamaal where his hometown is.

"I always tease he's going to put Inverness on the map," she says.

THE REST OF THE STORY: Jamaal is a junior guard at AASU. He's still 5-10.

Playing against Georgia Southwestern State in February, he hit two three-pointers. The first broke his school's all-time record for three-pointers made (183). The second one, with 7.1 seconds left in the game, gave his team a 59-56 win.

Head coach Jeff Burkhamer calls Jamaal his team's sixth man, one of the best shooters in the country. "He's been kind of our microwave off the bench," Burkhamer said. "He's pretty much got the green light to shoot any time he's open within 26 feet."

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: Jamaal accepted early in college that playing NBA Live video games was the closest he'd get to professional ball.

He put his computer skills to practical use, designing the men's basketball media guide cover for the past two years. An information technology major, he wants a job in graphic design.