Former SuperSonics legend Ray Allen was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame last week. Here is a brief look back at a Seattle sports hero.
What can be said about former Seattle SuperSonics guard Ray Allen that hasn’t already been said? That the first three NBA teams he played for each had green in their uniform color scheme.
Seriously, so much has been written and reported before and after the NBA’s all-time 3-point field-goal record holder was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on September 8, 2018. Some of what you read here may be repetitive. Allen was that good.
Walter Ray Allen, Jr., the third of five children. His father, Ray Sr., was a welding specialist in the Air Force. As is the case with many military families, they relocated many times. This resulted in Allen living, among other places, in England and Germany while growing up.
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He was an exceptional athlete excelling in baseball, football and soccer, but eventually favored basketball after a growth spurt at age 10. His family was living in South Carolina when Allen was in high school. It was there, after two years on the varsity basketball team, that he won his first major title, helping his team to the state championship.
Did you know that before Allen chose to attend the University of Connecticut, he was also recruited by the University of Kentucky?
It was when Rick Pitino was the head coach at the legendary hoops powerhouse. Allen explained his college decision in an interview with Drew Franklin on Kentucky Sports Radio from May 11, 2015.
The 3-point machine revealed that it was his perceived indifference by Pitino toward him and fellow recruit, Derron Sheffer, that tipped the scales toward Jim Calhoun and UCONN. Kind of makes one wonder if Ray Allen would have gone to college in Lexington, would he have won an NCAA championship?
Not winning an NCAA championship may be the only accomplishment missing from Allen’s college career. At Connecticut, he set a school record by making 115 three-point shots during his final year of college. Despite not achieving a championship in the college ranks, Allen did win a few on the international stage.
He took home a Gold medal as part of a team that participated in the 1995 Summer Universiade Games held in Fukuoka, Japan. Allen added two other Gold medals to his collection. One from the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and another in 2003, at the FIBA Americas Championships, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Sonics fans will recall that it was when Allen played for the NBA franchise in Seattle that he rapidly moved up the career 3-point shooting ranks. He was second all-time, behind Reggie Miller, before his trade to the Boston Celtics. A few months before the deal, Allen set his personal career-high scoring total in a game with 54 points in January 2007, while wearing Sonics’ green and gold (which you can see here).
During his four full seasons with the Supersonics, from 2002-2007, Allen was all-star every year. He was also an all-star off the court. Allen was honored with The Sporting News “Good Guy” award three times: 2000, 2001, and 2005. The final one was as a member of the SuperSonics.
In an outstanding 18 year career, it can be said that Ray Allen always had “game.'” His four-and-a-half years in Seattle prove it.