Biography: Ray Allen

Ryan Loftis By Ryan Loftis, 21st Jul 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2umzvu4s/
Posted in Wikinut>Celebrities>Sports

A biography of Ray Allen, an 18-year NBA veteran and the league's all-time leader in three-pointers made.

Early Years

Eighteen-year NBA veteran Ray Allen was born Walter Ray Allen at Castle Air Force Base near Merced, Calif., on July 20, 1975. His father's Air Force career required the family to move often, and Allen lived at bases in England, Oklahoma, Germany, and California before his family arrived in Dalzell, S.C., when he was in eighth grade.

Allen starred at Hillcrest High School in Dalzell. The 1992-93 season was a spectacular one for him: He was named Mr. Basketball in South Carolina and led Hillcrest to the state championship. The University of Kentucky and the University of Alabama were among his suitors, but Allen chose the University of Connecticut.

UConn

Allen received Big East Rookie of the Week honors five times in the 1993-94 season and was a unanimous selection to the Big East All-Rookie Team. He recorded 675 points in 32 games in the 1994-95 season, making him the top sophomore scorer in school history. Allen was also third in the conference in scoring and received All-Big East First Team honors.

As a junior, Allen set a school single-game record by making nine three-pointers in a game against Rutgers University. That wasn't the only milestone he recorded in the 1995-96 season: Allen made 115 three-pointers, a school single-season record, and became the first Connecticut player to earn All-America honors in consecutive years. Following his junior year, in which he was named Big East Player of the Year, Allen declared for the NBA Draft.

The NBA

The Minnesota Timberwolves chose Allen with the fifth overall pick in the 1996 Draft and traded him that night to the Milwaukee Bucks. Allen played in all 82 games of the Bucks' 1996-97 season, starting 81 of them, and was named to the All-Rookie Second Team.

1998's He Got Game was Allen's movie debut, and an ambitious one at that. The movie was directed by Spike Lee and starred Oscar-winner Denzel Washington. Washington played a father incarcerated for manslaughter, and Allen played his son, America's top high school basketball prospect. Roger Ebert called Allen "that rarity, an athlete who can act." Jay Carr wrote in the Boston Globe that "Milwaukee Bucks guard Ray Allen delivers nothing less than the best performance ever put on film by a pro athlete." He Got Game became Lee's first movie to open at first place at the box office.

Allen made the first of his 10 career All-Star Game appearances in 2000, and he won a gold medal playing for USA Basketball at that summer's Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. He led the NBA in three-pointers made in the 2001-02 season, the first of three times he accomplished that feat. The Bucks traded Allen to the Seattle SuperSonics in February 2003.

Boston Celtics

The SuperSonics traded Allen to the Boston Celtics in June 2007. Boston had won only 24 games the previous season, and general manager Danny Ainge was making big moves in an effort to improve the team's fortunes. Kevin Garnett arrived in Boston approximately a month after Allen did (Ainge was willing to part with seven players to acquire him). Allen, Garnett, and Celtics captain Paul Pierce became known as the "Big Three" and immediately asserted their dominance, leading the Celtics to an NBA-best 66-16 record and the Atlantic Division championship.

The Celtics advanced to the 2008 Finals and faced their classic rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers. Up 2-1 in the series, the Celtics rallied from 24 points down to win Game Four. The Celtics crushed the Lakers 131-92 in Game Six to clinch their first championship in 22 years. In addition to getting his first ring, Allen set a Finals record by making 22 three-pointers.

Boston's attempt to repeat ended with a seven-game loss to the Orlando Magic in the 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Celtics finished the 2009-10 season with only a 50-32 record but made it back to the Finals, once again facing the Lakers. Allen set another Finals record by making eight three-pointers in a single game, but the Lakers won in seven games.

Miami Heat

After five seasons in Boston, Allen signed as a free agent with the defending world champion Miami Heat in July 2012. The Heat advanced to the Finals for the third straight season in 2013 and faced the San Antonio Spurs. Perhaps the biggest play of Allen's career came with 5.2 seconds left in Game Six, when he hit a three-pointer that forced overtime. Miami won that game and then defeated the Spurs in Game Seven. Allen became the University of Connecticut's first basketball alumnus to win two championships.

The conclusion of the 2013-14 season was far less satisfying. Although the Heat became only the third team to make four consecutive Finals appearances, they were no match for the Spurs. After splitting the first two games, the Spurs won the next three to claim the championship.

The End?

Following the Heat's loss to the Spurs, Allen expressed doubt about returning to the NBA. That didn't stop several teams from pursuing him. Allen finally released a statement in March 2015, declaring: "I've ultimately decided that I will not play this NBA season. I'm going to take the remainder of this season, as well as the upcoming off-season, to reassess my situation, spend time with my family and determine if I will play in the 2015-16 season." Should he retire, Allen will leave as the NBA's all-time leader in three-pointers made (2,973) and three-pointers attempted (7,429).

Tags

Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Ray Allen

Meet the author

author avatar Ryan Loftis
I graduated from Central Michigan University with a journalism degree and have been a freelance writer for various print and online publications since then.

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Comments

author avatar Steve Kinsman
21st Jul 2015 (#)

As a Celtics fan I was crushed when Allen signed with Miami. Great post Ryan.

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author avatar Ryan Loftis
21st Jul 2015 (#)

Glad you liked it. It's always hard when one of your team's best players leaves. I remember how upset Detroit Pistons fans were when the team traded Chauncey Billups.

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