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A's Allen describes Olympic experience, meeting Mavs star Dončić originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Programming note: Watch "All A's" with Nick Allen on Wednesday, July 27 on NBC Sports California after "A's Postgame Live" at approximately 4 p.m.
Sometimes, life finds a way.
For rookie Athletics infielder Nick Allen, life found a way for him to be on Team USA's roster for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and see incredible people.
After he got situated in the Olympic Village, Allen decided to walk into the cafeteria to explore to see what he could find. It was there that he saw Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Dončić.
"Seeing everyone you see on TV, I thought that was amazing," Allen recently said in an interview with Brodie Brazil on "All A's," which debuted Wednesday.
Allen noted that as an athlete, it was common for him to watch the Olympics growing up.
"Being a guy that plays sports, you're definitely tuned in," Allen said.
For Allen, however, being in Tokyo was never a sure thing. When he first received a text from Paul Seiler, the Executive Director and CEO of USA Baseball, inviting him to join USA Baseball, Allen was initially hesitant to go to Tokyo in fear that he might lose out on opportunities in the United States.
After a few conversations with those close to him, Allen decided to go to Japan for the first time in his life. His experience was unforgettable.
On the diamond, Allen performed spectacularly, hitting .286 (tied for second on the team) with one home run and two RBI in six games. Known for his defense stateside, Allen was also named the best defensive player in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
"I just did what I could do," Allen recalled. "It was truly great to get that honor because I know it's something that I've worked so hard for."
For a better part of a year and a half, the status of the 2020 Olympics was up in the air. When it was finally approved to continue, Team USA, led by former Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia, fielded a squad with established veterans and rising rookies, in hopes of bringing home the gold, which the US last won in 2000.
Ultimately, Team USA won silver, losing 2-0 to Japan in the gold medal game.
In all, despite his initial reluctance to go join Team USA, Allen thanked the A's for pushing him to do so.
"The A's gave me this opportunity which, in the end, was one of the best experiences that I've ever had in my entire life," Allen said. "I can't thank them enough for letting me do it."