Allen dominated on both hardwood and headlines in 2018
One of the greatest lessons that can be learned throughout the journey of life is the ability to adapt with change.
For 18-year-old Pendleton County Wildcats senior basketball star, Dontaie Allen, the changes he would see over the past 365 days proved to be life-altering.
He entered 2018 as a high-potential three star prospect with a modest list of collegiate offers, none of which included his dream destination from childhood: The University of Kentucky. In the spring he made the decision to spend the next few months of his life playing with M.A.T.T.S Mustangs on the AAU circuit, and that matchup would prove to be a match made in heaven.
Allen took his game to heights few would have ever predicted. He and his teammates traveled to Georgia in July to compete in the nationally-renowned Under Armour Challenge, an event that featured some of the best high school talent from around the country. He would go onto lead the entire event in scoring, showcasing his talents in front of a who’s who list of prominent Division-I coaches and assistants, including Joel Justus from Kentucky, who quickly persuaded his boss, Hall of Fame head coach, John Calipari to hop on a plane and check out Allen in person for himself.
Allen would see his national stock soar higher than any other player in the country, which culminated with him accepting an offer extended by Calipari to become to first in-state player to sign with the Wildcats since 2013. A lifetime’s worth of hard work, dedication and resiliency had come to fruition.
Now approaching the midway point of his final season wearing the red and black of Pendleton County, he finds himself leading the nation in scoring at nearly 43 points per game and leading the state in rebounding. He quickly secured his place as the schools all-time leading scorer by posting six performances of over 50 points to surpass Talbert Turner Jr., who had held the record of 3,183 points since 1984. He’s also on track to finish number two all-time in state history only trailing the legendary “King” Kelly Coleman.
The year 2018 will always be remembered as the year Allen went from relative obscurity to rock star as he and his teammates have become the most talked about and monitored squad in all the Commonwealth; but for him, he’ll just continue to embrace the changes that await him in the days that follow with the same even-keeled and grounded demeanor that has allowed him to come this far.
“All praise goes to the most high. You always hear people say ‘your life can change in one year,’ but I really felt that and the whole course of my life was shifted for the better in 2018,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the many successes and challenges to come in 2019”.
To continue following the next wave of change for this small-town-boy-turned-folk-hero, tune into the happenings at Rupp Arena beginning next fall and keep an eye on number 11 in blue and white.