PORT ARTHUR — Allen received a medical redshirt in order to preserve that season’s eligibility. He continued as a student, taking classes part-time. Through his slow recovery, often alone in a gym, Allen worked in pursuit of his goals.
“I kept working out, trying to stay strong,” he said. “I wasn’t going to give up.”
However, it was something more than just his dreams that spurred his recovery. His mother had lost her job and had difficulty finding work.
“I knew I had to get back on the court,” he said. “I knew that one day I had to make money doing this. It was up to me to take care of my mom.”
Once he was back in good health, Allen decided not to return to Xavier, an NAIA school. Instead, he set his sights on Division I NCAA. His first stop, though, would be in Port Arthur.
“Coach Madison called me and eventually he offered me a full ride to come here and play,” Allen said. “I was glad to have a scholarship and I knew this would be my first step to making it to the next level.”
His goals are undoubtedly big – Junior College All-American, No. 1 in scoring in the nation, a full ride to a major university after this season. His conviction is enough to convince anyone that it all can be done. His talent makes up for any nagging doubts.
Allen is currently ranked 20th in NJCAA Division I in the nation for scoring average with 20.9 points per game. His 146 total points in seven games is 36th best in the nation.
His high-flying, acrobatic style of slicing his way to the basket, playing with complete abandon this season shows Allen is still not scared of anything.
“I want to do big things while I’m here in Port Arthur,” Allen said. “But before you talk about All-American or top scorer or any of that stuff, you have to put ‘winner’ and that’s what we’re all working for here. We’re a team dedicated to the same goal … being champions.”