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Football: Interboro’s ‘homegrown’ star Abu Kamara commits to Yale

Interboro running back Abu Kamara breaks a tackle on a carry against Pope John Paul II during the District 1 Class 4A championship at South Avenue Sports Complex Friday. (Evan Wheaton - MediaNews Group)

At times frustrated that he wasn’t garnering the Division I attention he deserved, Abu Kamara was determined to prove he could play football at a high level. But what he desired most was acceptance.

The one school that offered him a scholarship was Yale. The kid with a 4.4 grade-point average felt all along that, whether more offers were to come his way or not, the prestigious Ivy League institution was shaping up to be a perfect match.

After recently going on an official visit, it was only a matter of time before Kamara, Interboro High’s outstanding record-setting running back and defensive back, would make his decision official. On Friday, two days after National Signing Day, Kamara announced he will pursue his education and football career at Yale.

Kamara had interest from other Division I programs including Iowa State, Penn State, Georgetown and Villanova. Yale was the one school that proved time and again that it wanted the county’s single-season rushing champion in its program.

“It was a long process,” Kamara said. “I’m happy that it’s over.”

Kamara is proud to become an Ivy League signee from Interboro. As a youngster he could have been recruited by Catholic League or Inter-Ac League schools, but he stayed home. He honed his skills the Buc Way.

A native of Clifton Heights, Kamara made his way into the Interboro School District at a young age and got his first taste of organized football with the Glenolden Indians. He eventually became a Prospect Park Termite, where so many highly regarded Interboro players throughout the years developed their games at the youth level. Interboro head coach Dennis Lux was the freshman head coach when Kamara arrived at the high school in 2019.

“To be able to show the youth that it is possible, many kids around here are going to go to those private schools,” Kamara said. “For me, (it was) to show them that if you stay at Interboro, work hard and be resilient, then anything can happen.”

“The proudest thing I am of him is he did everything the right way,” Lux said. “He’s a good enough player to play anywhere at any level, but where he’s committed to is a blessing in disguise that he wasn’t heavily committed by a bigger football-type school, because with a degree from Yale he’s going to be set for the rest of his life.

“Abu is very mature for his age and he know his priorities. He has them all in line. To watch him grow – I’ve been coaching him since youth football – to the man that he is now … is just amazing. I’m going to miss the hell out of him. As a head football coach you miss your players for how talented they are and with Abu, I think I’ll miss him even more as a person. But I’m also very proud of what he has become.”

Kamara saw time at quarterback during the 2021 spring season, his sophomore year, which was shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. By his junior season Kamara became the Bucs’ go-to player at running back and shutdown defensive back, growing into one of the best all-around players in Delaware County.

Kamara’s 2022 campaign was one for the history books. He had the greatest season of any running back in county history. And one could argue that, as a defensive back, no one player had a better year. He set single-season records with 2,832 rushing yards and 42 touchdowns. In the defensive secondary, where he initially hoped he might get some recruiting notice, Kamara recorded 10 interceptions.

“I wanted to show people what I can do and I wanted people to know that Interboro is a great football program,” Kamara said.

With Kamara showing the way, Interboro captured the District 1 Class 4A title and advanced to the quarterfinals of the PIAA tournament. The Bucs finished with a 10-4 record, their first season of 10 or more wins since 2012.

As for Kamara, he was named the Daily Times’ Player of the Year in football.

“It just shows that you don’t have to play at some big time private school to get to where you’re at,” Lux said. “Abu did everything the right way and look at where it took him. It took him to an Ivy League school. He got to play in a district title game and in the PIAA playoffs with all of his boys that he grew up with, and played football with since they were in youth club. He is homegrown. You can look at the stats he put up, but also, look at what he’s doing academically. He didn’t have to take a school bus somewhere at 6 a.m. and get home at 7 p.m. to reach his dreams.”

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