Ray Allen This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   "Bucks on the break, Brandon, the dish to Allen ... Allen with the reverse jam!"

This has been a familiar scene in Milwaukee and the NBA lately. Ray Allen, the former University of Connecticut superstar, is finally emerging as a solid NBA product.

Just two years ago, Allen was dominating the Big East, and NCAA basketball. As a junior, he averaged 23.4 points per game, was named the Big East Player of the Year, and was tabbed as a unanimous Big East First Team pick and First Team All-American. He led UConn to the Sweet Sixteen in the 1996 NCAA Tournament before losing to Mississippi State.

Then came the announcement that Allen was foregoing his senior year to enter the NBA draft. He was selected by Minnesota and immediately traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. As a rookie, he started 81 (of 82 games), but only managed to average 13.4 points per game. On a team with Glenn Robinson, and All-Star Vin Baker, he was rarely passed to.

Over the summer, Baker was traded in a multi-team deal that gave the Bucks All-Star point guard Terell Brandon. With the addition of Brandon, Allen now gets the ball more often, and more importantly, scores more. Milwaukee is also off to a surprisingly good start. Allen has been called "Jordanesque," since his game resembles the great Michael Jordan's.

Believe it or not, Allen is a great basketball player. This year, he is proving to everyone that he was not a hoax; he is a true NBA player. He possesses the skills to become a perennial All-Star, and has the ability to make the Bucks playoff contenders. Is he the next Michael Jordan? Only time will tell. One thing is for sure, though: Ray Allen is a rising star. l


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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