Jan. 18—Clarkston High School product Trevon Allen has collected multiple stamps on his passport over the last four years due to his ability to be a certified bucket-getter on the basketball court.
During his time at CHS, Allen helped lead the Bantams to two State titles, landing him a scholarship to his father's alma mater, Idaho.
He had another successful stint as a Vandal, finishing as the program's seventh-all-time leading scorer (1,395 points).
Allen's continued triumph allowed the small-town hooper to play professionally overseas, and on Dec. 13 he recorded 2,000 points as a pro.
"I'm enjoying life," Allen said. "I get to wake up every day and play basketball. ... The process has been smoother, and I've been able to manage myself better."
"Being in Year 4 now, things are smooth," Allen said. "I'm making progress, playing in a well-respected league. ... I can carry my career on for as long as I can and prove I can do this for quite some time. I'm not where I want to be."
Although everything is going smoothly for Allen, it didn't start that way when he first left the States in 2020.
COVID-19 played a big factor in Allen's professional journey, starting with his NBA tryout being canceled amid the global pandemic.
After feeling "robbed" of an opportunity at his childhood dream, Allen's agent was able to get him a contract in Poland, signing with Polpharma Starogard Gdanski.
While Allen was able to garner a solid contract, the league was struggling from a revenue standpoint.
He also only spent a limited amount of time outside his apartment because travel wasn't allowed. He couldn't go to restaurants or go to the gym outside of regularly scheduled practices.
Allen also had a wave of loneliness to deal with during his first season overseas. He was missing family milestones such as his parents' anniversary and his younger brother's high school basketball games.
"Basketball season's run through a lot of those events, and that's difficult," Allen said. "Being able to play in front of fans that support me, like the Clarkston and Lapwai fans, was something I enjoyed. I played in front of those people since I was a little kid, and that was huge for me. ... Now I expect to be alone; use FaceTime and stay in touch that way."
Allen worked in silence during his time in Poland and finished his one-year stint averaging 19.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals in 29 games.
After his solid run in the Land of Fields, he signed a contract to play with Pallacanestro Cantu of Lega Basket Series A (LBA), which is the top basketball league in Italy.
The loneliness Allen felt subsided a little bit while in Italy, as his parents were able to attend a game.
"They came out here for about two weeks, and that was one of the most surreal feelings I've ever had," Allen said. "For them to catch a live professional game to look up and see them there and play that professional game was something special. They've made it a yearly thing now, and they'll be here for a couple of months, and they'll always be supportive."
Allen's parents try to watch him when he does play via YouTube, but the time difference has made it a little difficult.
"It'll be late night here when the game starts, and it'll be about 10 a.m. over there," Allen said. "So it's a little difficult to squeeze in a game during a work day, and it makes me feel good that they were able to see what the atmosphere is like here. It's way different."
Allen said basketball "isn't just a game," to the European fans, and they don't necessarily gravitate toward the player that produces the best stats — it's more about effort level.
"If you're just a guy who plays really hard, they really love that," Allen said.
Allen's sentiment was especially true during his time in Italy as a member of Pallacanestro Cantu, a club that's been around since 1936. He was the first American added to the club in its rich history, which increased his popularity even more.
"If I wasn't a pro athlete, I'd still have eyes on me because they sense that I'm an American person," Allen said. "They want to know how to speak English. They'll come up to you, and they can tell by your accent (that you're American), and that in general gets them interested, and when they do find out (I'm a professional basketball player), that adds another piece to the conversation. It's a good feeling that people know who you are and ask for pictures."
Allen's time in Italy was also where he experienced the European basketball atmosphere in its purest form, in game five of the championship game.
The Allen-led squad dropped its first two contests before rattling off two straight wins to force a Game 5.
"The intensity and passion from American crowds are from entertainment," Allen explained. "Over here, it's like they want to be on the court with us. It's crazy to see how serious they are."
Unfortunately for Allen, his guys lost in a thriller, but it will be a matchup that he'll carry with him for a long time.
"The atmosphere was crazy," Allen said. "A ton of people were packed into a tight arena, and it was a rough and crazy crowd."
The Clarkston graduate now resides in Romania, and his squad is a little past the midway point of the season.
The 25-year-old has no intentions of hanging it up anytime soon, saying he could "play anywhere," until he's in his mid-30s," but when he does call it a career, he intends to share his experiences.
"My career plan is to go back to the States and spread my knowledge of what it's like to be over here," Allen said. "As a player, I feel like it's selfish to keep (that information) to myself."
Allen specifically wants to share his wealth of knowledge with the Lewis-Clark Valley and extending areas — the same place that gave him his start in the basketball world.
"The community has been supportive despite me being so far away," Allen said. "They never forget what I'm doing or how far I've come since I was a little kid. ... Every time I get messages, I want to keep reminding people that it can be done (playing professionally), and it has been done. At the end of the day, I'm going to give back to the area that helped form me and give back to the youth and the community. It matters to me. It's a key piece to me; they've supported me the whole time."
Pixley may be contacted at (208) 848-2290, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TreebTalks.