Allen receives his Mr. Basketball ring, practicing at 75 percent
Before UK’s game versus Georgia Tech, Dontaie Allen saw the last act of his storied high school career come to a conclusion with the Kentucky Lions Club presenting him with a Kentucky Mr. Basketball ring. He won the award after only playing in 13 games his senior season.
It was how he played in those 13 games scoring over 50 points in seven games, averaging in the mid-40’s, being Coach John Calipari’s first in-state recruit in a decade and carrying himself as an approachable, great young man that led to him being honored.
He received the ring a week short of a year from when his high school career ended on a little jump hop in a PCHS game versus Cooper High School. According to Allen, he at first thought it was just a knee strain but got the bad news later.
It would be a few months later when he heard his name announcing him as Kentucky Mr. Basketball, a title that will follow him the rest of his life.
“It felt great as I had worked for it my whole life,” Allen said about that moment.
The ceremony during the pregame of Kentucky’s game versus Georgia Tech was just a few days after he made his first appearance on the court at a Wildcat practice.
“It felt really good (to be back on the court). I was running and jumping around. It was a lot of fun.”
Allen told assembled media about his practice availability, “It’s day-by-day now. If just how my knee is and whether it is sore. Its just part of the process.”
“He is practicing at 75 percent right now and a ways off,” Coach Cal said about Allen’s status.
For Allen, a self-described intense competitor sitting on the sidelines and watching has been killing him.
“I’m not going to lie, it’s hard, real hard.”
The return has not been as quick as he would like.
“I think coming back, you are going to feel a little slower but that is something I just have to work through. I’ve been a little bit rusty,” he said before admitting that it was into his second practice before he hit that first three pointer.
Except for a bout with the flu that made him miss a couple of games, Allen has been present on the bench watching, learning and cheering his teammates on. This night, UK beat a ranked Georgia Tech team, 67-53, and when Tyrese Maxey almost through a dunk down on a Georgia Tech defender, Allen’s knee looked good as he exploded off the bench.
Despites that highs and lows, the challenges and awards, he has a mentality that keeps him grounded. “
“(My faith) has played a big role with God as the forefront of my life,” he said before adding that he relies on God everyday.