|Born||October 16, 1975|
Until she was 10 years old, Wideman lived in Laramie, Wyoming, where her father taught Creative Writing at the University of Wyoming. In 1986, she moved to Amherst, Massachusetts, where her father accepted a tenured teaching position at the University of Massachusetts.
Wideman started on the Amherst Regional High School Varsity team for six straight years, beginning in 7th grade.
In her senior year, leading her team to the high school state championship, Wideman averaged 17 points, 6 steals, 6 assists, and 6 rebounds per game. In the State Championship game, she scored 27 points, had 14 steals and 8 assists, with 7 rebounds.
In 1992–1993, Wideman was named USA Today First Team High School All-American, Converse High School All-American, Nike High School All-American, Kodak High School All-American, New England High School Player of the Year, Massachusetts High School Player of the Year, and High School All-American by the WBCA. She participated in the WBCA High School All-America Game in 1993, scoring 10 points.
Her high school basketball team was the subject of a book, In These Girls Hope is a Muscle, by Madeleine Blais. While in high school, Wideman published poems on the complexities of her racial identity in her high school newspaper. Shortly after the Los Angeles uprisings of 1992, she wrote and published a poem titled Black.
Wideman attended Stanford University, where she continued with basketball. As a 5'6" point guard, Wideman was the smallest player on her college team.
While at Stanford University, she completed a double major, earning a B.A. in political science and African-American studies in 1997. After playing professional basketball, she earned a J.D. from New York University School of Law.
Professional basketball career
Upon graduation from Stanford, and during the offseasons of the WNBA, Wideman founded and directed the Stanford Athletic Alliance. This bi-weekly program paired young women from East Palo Alto with players from the Stanford Women's Basketball team for individual mentoring sessions, as well as group sessions that allowed the young women to explore various academic areas through hands-on experience. The program continues to run on the Stanford campus.
In 1997, Wideman founded and implemented another youth program called "Hoopin' with Jamila". This program combined basketball skills clinics with a reading and writing program targeted at young women of color incarcerated in the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles. The program was funded by Nike. USA Today honored Wideman as the "Most Caring Athlete" in 1998, in large part because of the success of the program. The program also earned the National Council on Crime and Delinquency "Community Award", given annually to programs that attempt to provide creative alternatives to juvenile incarceration.
Following her graduation from New York University Law School, Wideman began working as a staff attorney at Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama where she litigated on behalf of death sentences individuals in state and federal courts, and later became a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society in New York City.
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- Wideman, Jamila (2001-08-12). "Perspective; A Basketball Journey to the American South". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-12-07.
- "Stanford Fast Break Club - Where Are They Now?". www.stanfordfbc.org. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
- "Former WNBA player Jamila Wideman joins NBA's Player Development department". Hoopfeed.com. 2018-09-06. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
- "Jamila Wideman WNBA Stats". basketball-reference.com.