Adam Allen has been called the best kept secret in Florida. The secret is almost over. The 6-foot-7 forward from Milton (Fla.) High School is coming off a big junior year that ended in the state championship game and now he's gearing up for his first go round on the national AAU scene.
The bouncy forward was all the rage in the Sunshine State in the post season and for good reason. As the biggest player on his high school by six inches, Allen was the go-to guy inside the paint. He battled against bigger players all year and gained the respect of everyone that watched him.
Now making the transition to the summer travel schedule, Allen said he will play the two and three for John Adkin's Tallahassee Wildcats program. The first stop on the travel schedule is the Kingwood Classic next week.
To fully understand Allen the player, take a look at his family tree. Allen's father, Randy, played two years in the NBA after his career at Florida State. After his stint in the NBA, Allen played in the CBA and Europe for 10 years. Allen is amongst the top scorers in Florida State history.
"He knows what it takes to play at the highest level," Allen said. "I'll pick up on those little things like playing hard gives you an extra eight points or grabbing offensive rebounds will give you an extra six points. You just have to work harder than everyone else."
Allen's work ethic comes from his father outside of the game of basketball. The younger Allen spends his extra time with his dad, grinding tree stumps and putting in long hours in the summer doing hard labor.
That work ethic has also made him an attractive baseball prospect. The 6-foot-7 pitcher hurls a 88 mile an hour fastball. Here comes the dilemma. Will he play basketball or baseball or both in college?
"If I can get up to 92, 93 miles an hour, there is a chance I'll get drafted right out of high school. If that happens, I'll have to really look at that," Allen said. "That is why I'm trying to keep my options open. I don't want to commit to a college because of that. I've told all of the coaches that recruit me that."
There have been a number of high-major schools showing interest in hoops. Allen said he's hearing from Alabama, Baylor, Clemson, Florida State, Florida, Miami, UAB and UMass. Mark Gottfried's Alabama program is tops on his list, Allen says.
"They've told me that I can play baseball and basketball there. They are the only ones that have told me that so far," Allen said of the Tide. "I feel like my style of play could really fit into their system. I feel like I could come in and help out whether I redshirt a year or come in a play right away. I really like Tuscaloosa. I went there for the Florida game this year and I like coach Gottfried. He's a cool guy and not cocky at all. He's just real down to earth."
With Alabama sitting at the top, there are sure to be new schools jumping into fray this month when he plays in the national spotlight for the first time.