He has four football scholarship offers, but a good showing at one of summer basketball’s biggest tournaments could change the game for Chase Allen.
The rising senior from Nixa will take part in the prestigious Nike Peach Jam July 9-11 in North Augusta, South Carolina. The annual tournament pits the best teams in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League against one another in front of an audience of college scouts.
“It’s the most elite teams in the most elite league. I’d equate it to the NCAA tournament at the college level or the NBA Finals,” Allen said. “The final four is broadcast on ESPN.”
Allen starts at power forward for Overland Park, Kansas-based MoKan Elite. His team of players age 17 and younger features Trae Young, whose list of at least 20 schools offering scholarships includes Duke, Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, and Michael Porter, who is reportedly interested in Missouri and Kansas, but whose list of 13 offers reportedly includes Indiana, Duke, Baylor and Wichita State.
“This is my first year playing in the EYBL or with MoKan. It’s a great opportunity to play against the top completion there is,” Allen said.
Allen, a wide receiver, played for Nixa in the Class 5 state football championship game in 2014. He said he has football scholarship offers from Missouri State, Southern Illinois, South Dakota State and Iowa State. He reported no serious basketball scholarship offers.
The 6-foot-7 son of Terry Allen — who previously coached football at Missouri State, Kansas and Northern Iowa — attributes at least part of the interest from football scouts in being the son of a coach. When it comes to choosing between football and basketball, Allen is undecided which he would like to play more in college.
“I love both sports; really I do,” Allen said.
Allen scored 15.7 points and hauled down 8.5 rebounds per game in his junior season at Nixa. The all-state forward led the Eagles in rebounds, 2-point field goal percentage (69.8 percent) and blocks.
Nixa won 27 consecutive games and finished 28-2 with a loss to Class 5 state champion Blue Springs South in the state quarterfinals.
The 2015 Peach Jam features some names familiar to Springfield in Bass Pro Tournament of Champions alumni Harry Giles (Wesleyan Christian Academy), Malik Monk (Bentonville, Arkansas) and V.J. King (Paul VI).
The Peach Jam’s list of former players includes NBA stars Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, Amare Stoudemire, Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, Dirk Nowitzki, Yao Ming, and Kyrie Irving.
The Nike EYBL attracts top NCAA Division I coaches to check out unsigned high school players. Allen recounted a story from a tournament earlier this summer. While waiting to shoot a free throw, Allen glanced into the stands and spotted Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. That was only one of the familiar faces in the crowd.
“It’s sideline to sideline, it’s all big name college coaches,” Allen said.
Former Missouri State Bear Rodney Perry coaches the MoKan Elite 17-and-under squad. Perry, an athletic wing and defensive stopper, was part of Missouri State’s 1992 NCAA Tournament team and 1993 NIT team. He is presently head coach of the men’s basketball team at Avila University.
Chase Allen’s stats from 2014-2015
15.7 points per game
8.5 rebounds per game
36 blocks in 23 games
69.8 shooting percentage
156 feet, 3 inches
Longest throw by a Missouri high school athlete in the 2015 season