High school volleyball players and coaches from suburban Boston may be the only Celtics fans who wish guard Ray Allen hadn't re-signed with the team over the summer. Now that the sharpshooter is in Boston for the long haul, his 18-year-old daughter is living with him in Wellesley and tearing up Massachusetts volleyball courts.
"She's a tremendous hitter. Lot of power. She's very athletic," Wellesley volleyball coach Wayne Lem told the Globe. "Volleyball has become a game of specialty players, but Tierra can go from front line to back. Not too many players can play the full rotation. She's been a blessing for us."
Allen, whose first sport is basketball, only began playing volleyball in eighth grade. Still, the 5-foot-8 power player has found a way to make an impact, focusing on her hitting and self-professed high volleyball IQ.
Yet the senior's strongest asset may be her competitiveness. After a recent loss, she reportedly travelled home with her famous father in a notably frustrated mood. Her father had to convince her to take a deep breath and let the loss go, though she wasn't happy about it.
"I hate to lose," Allen said. "I come from a very competitive household. I'm 18 and I have five younger brothers. I got stuck babysitting them. It was ridiculous."
Not surprisingly, those brothers also play basketball, and have helped keep Allen on her toes. It was a natural assumption that she would play basketball at Wellesley, where the senior will get to pair up with Princeton-recruit Blake Dietrick, one of the state's most hyped athletic prospects.
Allen said while the teaming with Dietrick will surely bring more high expectations, she's learned to get used to them.
"It's not even a question, they just say ‘You're going to be so good in basketball,' and ‘You and Blake are going to be a beast together,'" she told the Globe. "It's just another expectation to live up to."
Based on her success in volleyball, that success seems more like a matter of when, not if.
"We've been a real close team,'' Allen said. "I hope it's the same with basketball."