Allen healthy and eager for UK debut

  • Dontaie Allen
    Dontaie Allen

      Kentucky Wildcats sophomore Dontaie Allen spoke with reporters during a virtual Zoom meeting on Oct. 16 to discuss the upcoming season and reflect back upon a nearly two-year journey back to the hardwood.
    Allen, who redshirted last season following surgery on a torn ACL in his left knee in December 2018, says he’s learned a lot about himself and feels it has molded him into a better person.
     “I know this whole process has made me a resilient person,” the Pendleton County native said. “I’ve worked really hard to improve my strength and during practices I believe my basketball IQ has gotten better. I’m a much better player now than the person people saw in high school. This situation has turned out to be a blessing in disguise,” Allen added.
     Allen then spoke on the high expectations that will surround his new crop of Wildcats teammates, who once again will be in the national championship conversation. With a year of being under the guidance of head coach John Calipari under his belt, he believes that will allowhim to help in the development of his younger teammates.
    “Although I wasn’t on the court, I did gain a lot of experience. I can share with the guys what Coach Cal’s expectations are and help them understand the Kentucky culture. This team has the potential to be special, especially on the defensive side of the floor. And I know we will only continue to grow and improve as the season goes on,” Allen explained.
    Now fully healthy, Allen is solely locked in on picking up where he left off on the basketball court as a offensive juggernaut that can put up points in bunches as well as get his teammates involved. His time away has only made him hungrier for success and he’s willing to give everything he has to achieve the goals he’s had for himself since his childhood.
    “I’m not even thinking about the knee now; that’s where I’m at right now. The mentality I have right now it’s like my life is on the line everyday. That’s the kind of effort I have to put into everything, and if I don’t do that then I’m not going to make it. It’s just about getting my mind into that mental place that has made me stronger. I’m more consistent in that way.”